KILLING GROUND is an attempt at schlock horror channelling Wolf Creek and Deliverance. The deliverance is an ugly cry wolf experience.

A well heeled couple, Ian and Sam, who should be booking a holiday at the Hilton decide to go on a camping trip in a remote spot of the Australian wilderness. Passing through a one horse town, they ask directions to the secluded spot from a pair of suspiciously psycho locals. As you do in films of this genre.

Finally finding the secluded spot, the couple find it not so solitary, as a tent has already been pitched. But where are the happy campers?

Is that the faint twang of Duelling Banjos I hear on the soft, off shore breeze, rustling the leaves of the eerie eucalyptus?

With the other campers at large, Ian and Sam’s discovery of a child wandering alone sets off a terrifying chain of events that will put them through a hellish ordeal and punch a hole in the space-time continuum.

Aaron Pedersen and Aaron Glenane are suitably menacing as the outback pair who terrorise the in tents tourists, Glenane especially captures that vacuous viciousness of The Hills Have Eyes type of rapist murderer.

Ian Meadows plays the dutifully soft cock urban male who at the very mention of “outback” should back out.

The strongest character here is Sam, Ian’s partner, played with gumption and gusto by Harriet Dyer. Technically talented and blessed with a real screen presence, Dyer is the tent pole attraction in this fairly dreary and paint by numbers thriller.

Damien Power’s debut feature is not so much impressive but certainly a building block, a stepping stone to a future in features.

Simon Chapman’s lensing captures the awesome beauty of the bush as well as the subliminal terror of the terrain.

Editor’s Note: The film didn’t take Richard’s fancy but it may capture yours. Sydney Arts Guide has five double in season passes to give away to the KILLING GROUND. The film opens this Thursday.

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