Movie Review: "Hounds of Love" (2017, Australia)
I'm just going to go ahead and say that those with weak stomachs and sensitive hearts need not apply. This is a movie about a wacked-out couple who kidnap a 17-year old girl and do horrible things to her. It's not for the faint of heart. It pulls no punches. It's not needlessly graphic, but you will definitely get the damn picture. It gets uncomfortable at times.
Are you still with me? Good. Then I'll go ahead and repeat something I'm so jealous that a previous reviewer beat me to. This reviewer said: "BRAVE AUDIENCES WILL BE REWARDED". This reviewer couldn't have been more right. Talk about hitting the nail on the fucking head.
The story centers around Vicki Maloney (Ashleigh Cummings), a young girl who is doing her best to cope with her parents divorce. She sneaks out to go to a party and makes the critical mistake of taking a ride from a seemingly nice couple (played to the hilt by Emma Booth and Stephen Curry). After a drugged drink she finds herself chained to a stained mattress in a spare room watching the aforementioned couple make out intensely (not good).
What follows is impressive for a director handling his first "big" movie. The tension building is tight and realistic. This is a movie about serial sexual homicide, and it doesn't hide that fact. It embraces it. That is not an easy decision when you're spending serious dough to make a movie. I hope y'all can take a minute to stop and think about that. Ballsy as fuck, I say.
The story really gets interesting when you watch the relationships develop between Vicki, Evelyn & John. John is a straight sociopath, a user and a real shitbag. His woman, Evelyn, is quite disturbed but, at the same time, carries a bit of that Stockholm Syndrome from a young age (they've "been together since they she was 13"). John uses both women at every possible opportunity, but Vicki is smart enough to pick up on this and exploit it. She is covering her own ass (literally) right out of the gate. It's kind of incredible to watch.
Where this one gets you is in the sheer reality and possibility of this situation. This is no knife-fingered monster, this is no demon from Hell.....this is shit that can really happen and DOES really happen. Don't believe me? Read the news a little bit. I have a beautiful, near 13-year old daughter and stuff like this freaks me right the fuck out. No joke.
The performances are intense and (dare I say) brave. The script is tight. Is it perfect? No. There are some logic gaps in the last few minutes that bugged me a little, but I can suspend my disbelief just for the sheer effort alone.
If you've got the stomach or the balls to watch a movie about some very uncomfortable shit then you'll enjoy this one. It pays dividends with its ending (and throughout). I'm giving it a solid 8.5/10 for balls and execution. Bravo!!