If, for some motive, a long time’ price of horror films on the topic have but to persuade you that going out into an remoted space with no cellphone service alone and unarmed is a recipe for brutal homicide, Australian writer-director Damien Energy’s Killing Floor could be the deciding issue. Energy’s tenet for the movie appears to be realism, lighting it with flat, brilliant daylight—no indie-movie blue and orange right here—and capturing it with shaky handheld camerawork. He goals for realism within the movie’s violence, too, depicting brutal assaults on males, ladies, and kids (however particularly ladies and kids) with an unsettlingly emotionless eye.
With all that in thoughts, it’s shocking that Energy would go for a fractured timeline with three totally different, overlapping narrative threads. However he did, in an bold transfer that seems to be the movie’s deadly flaw. We open with Sam (Harriet Dyer) and Ian (Ian Meadows), a pair on their method to spend New 12 months’s Eve—that is in Australia, keep in mind, the place Christmas and New 12 months’s are in the summertime—within the blissful solitude of Sam’s favourite campground. On their manner there, they cease off at a neighborhood bar, the place Ian meets grizzled native German (Aaron Pedersen) within the car parking zone. (He’ll come again into play later.) Sam and Ian are initially disillusioned to see one other tent at their campsite, however their disappointment turns to suspicion, and ultimately concern, when their neighbors fail to materialize by the next morning.
This narrative is intercut with scenes of a household—dad Rob (Julian Garner), mother Margaret (Maya Stange), their teenage daughter, Em (Tiarnie Coupland), and child son, Ollie—tenting at that very same riverside web site, together with scenes of German and his equally decrepit pal Chook (Aaron Glenane) discussing some despicable act that may weigh closely on each males’s consciences, have been they good sufficient to have them. Quickly, it turns into clear that one in all these timelines takes place a number of days earlier than the opposite two, and from there on out it’s now not a query of what’s going to occur (or has already occurred, because the case could also be). It’s additionally clear, due to context clues, who the victims might be, and the place their deaths are going to happen. That leaves the “how” and the “why” of this inevitable act of sadism, and solely the “how” is ever absolutely explored.
The movie does comprise a handful of moments of true shock, like a shot of child Ollie stumbling bloodied and filthy via the woods that’s Texas Chain Noticed Bloodbath-degree disturbing. (And that’s a excessive praise.) However on condition that it’s straightforward to foretell what comes subsequent when you understand how the movie’s timelines work, Killing Floor is just about suspenseless in the course of its most harrowing scenes, because the individuals you suspected have been going to die in horrible methods die in horrible methods, with some refined, gut-churning intimations of sexual assault for further impression. Issues decide up later when the three storylines converge in spectacularly violent trend, however even then the one actual shock is a misanthropic one.
Exacerbating the cruelty of all of it is the truth that the motivations behind Chook and German’s backwoods homicide spree are by no means explored. Energy makes just a few gestures towards an ethical battle within the character of Chook, however general it’s merely assumed that they do this stuff as a result of they’re dangerous, evil males. And so your potential enjoyment of—or repulsion for—Killing Floor comes all the way down to what you need to expertise in a horror film. Granted, all this elaborately constructed savagery is upsetting, so the movie succeeds on that degree. However with out suspense to propel it ahead, and and not using a compelling backstory to deepen the intrigue, upset is all we’ve received.