THRILLER; 1hr 34min
STARRING: Peter Marshall, Caroline Marohasy
The exterminator: Marshall
Stark and piteous, Australian film-festival circuit vengeance marathon The Horseman opens with a shocking and savage act, then loops backwards to explain the cause of it. Pest controller Christian (Marshall, in a Herculean portrayal of grief beyond endurance) isn’t to be trifled with or swayed from the hunting down and disposing of the morally bankrupt pornographers who have destroyed his daughter. Shackled to his half-crazed misery, haunted, guilt-riddled and self-mutilating yet coldly capable of outer-limits violence, he’s a man to paradoxically fear and pity.
With the troubled young hitchhiker (feature-film first-timer Marohasy as Alice) he picks up on his harrowing travels, Christian is kindly and calm — a father figure for a girl sorely in need of one. We get a sense then from writer-director Steven Kastrissios of the person Christian once was and how far he has travelled since. But with absolution no longer an option, his rage and pain are punishing viewing.