The Furies Movie Review

Written by Joel Harley

Released by Signature Entertainment


Written and directed by Tony D'Aquino
2019, 82 minutes, Not Yet Rated
Frightfest UK premiere on 25th August 2019

Arlie Dodds as Kayla 
Linda Ngo as Rose
Taylor Ferguson as Sheena
Ebony Vagulans as Maddie


Kidnapped from the street, loaded up with surgical implants and dumped in the middle of a remote outback woodland, a handful of terrified women are hunted for sport by a gang of mask-wearing psychopaths. Key to their survival is the wimpy Kayla, whose epilepsy reveals the killers' secret weapon. Figuring out quite how to take advantage is a different matter entirely.

the furies 01

Genre fans may be unable to see political hot potato The Hunt for the foreseeable future, but we can make do with this Aussie effort, which trades in Left vs Right politics and guns for axes and Jason Voorhees wannabes. Ironically, it's a much gnarlier movie than anything Blumhouse is likely to ever put out, and far more worthy of the controversy it will probably never even receive.

So goes one of the finest traditions of Aussie genre cinema, and director Tony D'Aquino adds only grotesque slasher masks and a slight technological bent to his page of the human hunting playbook. Mostly, the film is reliant on old-school gore and truly shocking violence. But before it can get to the matter of who-is-complicit-in-what (which it does in style) there's the nastiest axe kill I've ever seen in a horror film – and perhaps the most disturbing screen death since Bone Tomahawk.

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Arlie Dodds commands the screen as the timid, terrified Kayla. While her arc is not a particularly original one, and the circumstances leading up to her kidnap are remarkably on-the-nose, she makes for a compelling and sympathetic protagonist. The entire cast do well, and although no-one gets to be in the film for all that long, each of Kayla's fellow kidnappees make an impact, feeling like more than just the cannon fodder they could have been. Except, that is, for Linda Ngo's grating Ruby, the weak link both in character and performance.

This version of Battle Royale crossed with Hostel makes for thrilling if mildly nonsensical cinema, chock full of twists which never land with quite the impact that they should. Like many films on the theme, it can't manage to address its ideas on audience complicity without looking like a massive hypocrite in the process. Sure, we're all talking about that jaw-dropping axe gag, but they're the ones who put it in the movie in the first place.

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The Furies is a brutal slasher movie taking in the best traditions of 70s and 80s Australian grindhouse cinema. What it lacks in subtlety and invention, it makes up for with its shocking gore and non-stop action. And, much as it'll scold you for it afterwards, you'll lap it up.


Movie: 3 Star Rating Cover

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Joel Harley
Staff Reviewer
Haribo fiend, Nicolas Cage scholar and frequently functioning alcoholic. These are just some of the words which can be used to describe Joel Harley. The rest, he uses to write film criticism for Horror DNA and a variety of websites and magazines. Sometimes he manages to do so without swearing.
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