I did not expect to like “The Snowtown Murders” as much as I did. But then again, “The Snowtown Murders” upended nearly all of my expectations.
I caught a screening of the movie Wednesday night at the Gateway in Columbus. It was free, I didn’t have anything to do and I love watching horror movies in theaters.
“The Snowtown Murders,” isn’t much of a horror movie, however. Tracing Australia’s most notorious serial killer from 1992 through 1999, “The Snowtown Murders,” instead plays like a starkly brutal, violent indie film.
From the opening scene of narration laid over shots of passing Australian countryside, the film takes a slow, methodical approach to letting its story unravel. Shots linger. Brooding electronic music slowly pulses in the background. Scenes existing soley of idle conversation reveal character tics.
Tension is built over the course of two agonizing hours, and when the final third finally arrives, the only scares you’ll find come from the horror that this is based on a true story. I don’t want to reveal much about the plot, because part of my enjoyment was watching this film and all its atrocities unfold in a plain, slice-of-life manner.
To call “The Snowtown Murders” a horror film belies the excellent craftsmanship that went into making it. But to call it strictly a slice-of-life indie film with touches of violence and torture sells short just how horrifying the movie can be at times. It’s probably best just to see it for yourself, without expectations.