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Movie Reviews: Picnic At Hanging Rock: The Director’s Cut + House Of Darkness + 2 others

Picnic At Hanging Rock: The Director’s Cut (1975)
This recut is still a slow moving Oz horror about a mysterious vanishing at Hanging Rock in 1990. This is based on the good Joan Lindsay novel. This is slow moving with staring, eerie photography and this made director Peter Weir. This was very ethereal with nice music. Is Hanging Rock a genius loci? There is bad ADR as fat girl Edith whines. There is more staring.

Anne-Louise Lambert is Miranda who is one of the 3 students and 1 teacher who go missing at the Rock. Lambert is apparently bitter about her role. Albert a local servant is played by John Jarratt who went on to star in ‘Rogue’, ‘Needle’ and ‘Wolf Creek’. There is mumbling by a vaguely pervy and fey posh bloke. This was all wistful and oddly weary. Yet it is all amusingly unthreatening and it is not dauntingly bleak.

People are all self-sabotage and existential conundrums and this film is uneven and boring. There’s uncertainty and nature is menacingly emphasised. Miranda had cool charisma and there are anxious interludes as people miss her more than anyone else. The ending is grimly inevitable. This film is lacklustre. The narrative unspools in negating fashion and it is slow, wooden and unnatural.
There is no sense of dread. Inexplicable, morbid things happen and there are no moral issues. I feel eye-rolling derision for this. People have dumbfounded anger at Irma, who is the sole survivor, she’s poorly regarded. The servant (Albert) and his long lost sister Sarah are never reunited as she is yet another schoolgirl who comes to a bad end.

Best Lines:
“Writes poetry! In the dunnie!”

“Bloody abo tracker.”

~
House Of Darkness (2016)
This Lifetime ‘horror’ has no visual panache. A family move to the countryside, they have issues. They want each other’s needs never to be a burden. This is not satisfactory. The kid is snotty, the film’s minor ambitions aren’t met and the house has a malign influence. The insufferable wife is a ‘massage therapist’ and she has no romantic connection with her hate filled husband who is into table sanding. This was dismal and the husband judges and appraises his wife.

There is bad line delivery and the wife has unacceptable passivity in the face of her ruinously jealous husband, who sees her as morally questionable. There is no trust and dignity just video logs, paranoia and moral panic. This was devoid of interest. One quickly gets bored of the family and their unrelenting negativity, anger and judgement.

Best Lines:
“Reclaimed wood.”

“Country people aren’t weird.”

“Made us pie.”
“Why?”

~
National Lampoon’s European Vacation (1985)
Okay.

Big Business (1988)
Mirth free crap.
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