HORROR; 1hr 32min
STARRING: Nathan Phillips, Leigh Whannell, Melanie Vallejo, Mirrah Foulkes
In harm’s way: Phillips
The Tasmanian tiger is officially extinct but that doesn’t stop two intrepid couples heading to the Apple Isle in search of one. Zoology student Nina (Foulkes) is following a lead left by her late sister. The others are along for the ride: Nina’s obliging boyfriend Matt (Saw ’s Whannell), Matt’s mug-lair mate Jack (Wolf Creek ’s Phillips — is there a pattern here?) and Jack’s good-sport girlfriend Rebecca (Vallejo).
That ride turns distinctly sticky when they hit an outpost populated by surly yokels liberally clubbed with the ugly stick. Aside from setting Tasmanian tourism back 100 years, the leering hillbillies also set the tone for the cannibalistic fun and games to follow. Cue the duelling banjos!
The screenplay has its fill of erky instances and barring the odd flat-footed interlude (hard to sidestep when your characters are reduced to stumbling around the wilderness, desperately yelling each other’s names), director Jody Dwyer delivers the blood-and-guts goods. The sum total is train-wreck compelling, like those paralysing nightmares when you just can’t seem to run.