Sunday, March 1, 2009

Review: Dying Breed

Dying Breed
Dir. Jody Dwyer
Year: 2008
Aus Rating: MA15+
Running Time: 92mins

I had the distinct misfortune of watching Jody Dwyer's Dying Breed yesterday. An ugly and washed out horror movie that commits cardinal horror sins. Despite being filled with horrible unlikable characters, it's also incredibly boring. Barely one fright in an entire 90 minute running time is not good and there was only one moment that I would say I was surprised and "shocked!" (as the poster art would say and it involves a character in a tree and that's all I'll say).

It's plot is one you've seen a hundred times before (or more if you're a horror aficionado) wherein a bunch of city kids travel through the deep south and come across the locals who like to use said city slickers not only as bait to keep the bush-bound cannibals at bay, but also as breeding factories. Don't eat the meat pies if you ever visit rural Tasmania, okay! The actors are all boring and if one of them wasn't played by a recognisable actor I would be hard pressed to remember anything about any of them. They all play characters you wouldn't want to associate with in the real world and yet the movie plays it so dull that there is not even any satisfaction - if that's the word - in seeing them become Cannibal meat. And when they do become a meal it's like an afterthought. So much time was spent on making the locals look dirty and disfigured that they didn't spend enough time actually making the horror appear scary.

And that brings me to Nathan Phillips. He is a blight on the Australian film industry. Routinely making arsehole characters even worse with his arsehole performances. While I wouldn't go so far as to say that Dying Breed is the worst Australian film ever made - I saw two at AFI last year that were worse - it is a fair guess to assume that Phillips' "Jack" is the most reprehensibly vile and excruciating character to ever be vomited up from the depths of these filmmaking hells. I understand that he was meant to be a prick, but that doesn't mean I want to spend 90 minutes with him.

To come up with positives is to dig deep. I liked that, for a change of pace, an Australian horror movie decided to not use the outback as it's setting. And, in all honesty, the final act had some moments of genuine tension, even if you can't forgive the characters splitting up right in the middle of being chased down by ravenous cannibals. Unfortunately for the film after having sat through feet being eaten off, women being raped by bogans and faces being ripped apart it was all a bit "too little, too late". It's a snooze. D-


Syms Covington said...

Hooray, finally someone talking sense about how woeful this is. I'm surprised this got any good reviews, even taking into account the stupid conventions of the horror genre. It is certainly one of the most moronic films to have ever recieved govt funding, and if *this* is their idea of funding genre then we better get used to foreign genre films.

And what did you think about the giant Santa Claus bad guy?

Kamikaze Camel said...

That was strange.

The oddest thing in the whole movie was when Leigh Whannell left his Irish girlfriend to go find a car (not sure if you remember the bit)... right after they outran a vicious cannibal. Like, huh? What on earth was that about. Take her to the car with you or something. Ugh.

FranklinBluth said...

The poster makes me feel ill.

Kamikaze Camel said...

Which one? They went really off-colour with their later marketing. Trying to market it as a dark comedy when it's nothing of the sort.

FranklinBluth said...

That disgusting bleeding pie thing. I literally feel ill when I look at it.

Simon A said...

So, so awful. Worst movie I saw at the cinema last year. Steals every horror trope imaginable without actually trying to look at the mechanics of how they actually work. "Oh, that movie had cannibals, and that one had bear traps, and that one had a creepy child, so ours should have those!"

Shamelessly commercial, too: it was written by a couple of reality TV producers who thought they could cash in on Wolf Creek's success (rather than, y'know, genuinely wanting to make a horror film) but then it failed miserably. And rightly so! I'm not in the habit of directing people away from Australian films, but this was tripe.

carlo said...

Dying Breed is really too much Horror Movie. I watched it. I liked it very much. If when you will watch this movie.In it tremendous horror scene are shown. you can also watch dying breed Movie