Hounds of Love
Director: Ben Young
Cast: Emma Booth, Ashleigh Cummings, Susie Porter, Harrison Gilbertson, Damian De Montemas
Genre: Crime Drama Horror
Country of Origin: Australia 2016 108 mins. (18)
Released by Arrow Films
The opening slow motion shot offers an insight into horrific intent. In 1987, John (Stephen Curry) and Evelyn White (Emma Booth) cruise the streets of Perth, Australia looking for teenage girls, to abduct, abuse and murder and Vicky Maloney (Ashleigh Cummings) will be their next prize. At odds with her recently divorced mother Maggie (Susie Porter) and with little contact from her father Trevor (Damian de Montemas), a wealthy surgeon, Vicky's sneaked out for a late night party and the offer of some weed is too good to miss. Vicky Maloney's sitting in an ordinary, neat and tidy suburban house, chatting with John and Evelyn White but it's a prison with no way out.
Inspired by the 1986 Moorhouse Murders, writer-director Ben Young's powerful and assured directorial debut, is a compelling portrait of a monster. It's not in-your-face horror, drenched in blood. What you don't see gives 'Hounds of Love' a savage intensity heightened by superb lead performances. Stephen Curry, as the off-the-wall, inadequate, cold eyed, control freak, Emma Booth as his wife Evelyn, trapped in an abusive relationship longs to be reunited with her children and Ashleigh Cummings, who plays Vicky, who'll exploit perceived emotional cracks in the White's relationship to fight for her freedom.
With touches of David Lynch and nods to recent Australian crime dramas 'Animal Kingdom' (David Michod, 2010) and 'Snowtown' (Justin Kurzel, 2011), Ben Young's made a strong, chilling, not easy to watch memorable feature debut.