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Monday, February 11, 2013

Rhiannon Irons' Top 13 Australian Horror Movies

G'Day.  Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Tonight I'm unleashing Australia on the horror world, showing you all just how tough we are Down Under.  Included on this list are creature features, slashers, supernatural styled thrillers and even a found-footage style movie.

Remember, down in Australia, we know what really scares you.

Rhiannon Elizabeth Irons

13)  SAW (2003)

It’s hard to believe that it was a decade ago that Jigsaw first uttered the chilling words, “I want to play a game.”  It’s even harder to believe that this film came out of the mind of two Australians.  Yes, that’s right.  SAW is an Australian film.  The sequels, not so much, but the original is.

A bunch of ‘games’ designed to make people appreciate life takes a deadly twist in this franchise, but it all began in a simple, grimy bathroom.  So now it’s time for me to say “Live or die; Make your choice.”


The small town of Paris, Australia deliberately causes car accidents, then sells/salvages all valuables from the wrecks as a means of economy.  Doesn’t sound like much of a horror movie, but add in the fact that the survivors of the accidents are kept, given lobotomies and used for medical experiments, it becomes a chilling, if not slightly comical tale. 

If you can find this film, it’s worth the watch.  Humor and horror perfectly combined gives THE CARS THAT ATE PARIS the number 12 spot on this list.

11)  DAYBREAKERS (2009)

A few people are surprised that this is an Australian movie.  But with the likes of Claudia Karvan, Sam Neill, Vince Colosimo and Isabel Lucas heading up the cast which also included Willem Dafoe and Eathan Hawke, DAYBREAKERS has become a must see vampire movie. 

A plague of vampire bats suddenly causes the population to become vampires?  Sounds horrific.  The fact that it was filmed in my home state of Queensland just adds to the disturbing factor of this Aussie horror.

10)  SNOWTOWN (2011)

Also known as THE SNOWTOWN MURDERS in the US, SNOWTOWN is based on true events.  One of the most outstanding Australian horror movies, SNOWTOWN holds its own, delivering thrills and chills as well as genuine scares.

Rotten Tomatoes said “It’s a bleak and brutal endurance test, but for the viewers with the strength and patience to make it to the end, SNOWTOWN will prove an uncommonly powerful viewing experience.”  This I fully agree with.  If you haven’t seen it, do yourselves a favour.  Grab a copy today.

9)  BLACK WATER (2007)

There’s a reason why BLACK WATER continues to make my Top 13 lists; it’s because it’s a phenomenal piece of work, combining real life crocodile footage in with the actors to deliver not only scares, but also realism. 

Crocodile attacks a tourist boat and most of the film consists of people sitting in a tree, too scared to enter the water.  Their tour guide is dead and there’s a very hungry croc waiting for the next course.  Thrilling, chilling and very real, BLACK WATER is a reason why you never ever smile at an Australian crocodile.

8)  LONG WEEKEND (1978)

Shot in 1977 but first shown in 1978, LONG WEEKEND has also undergone the remake treatment in 2008.  What was supposed to be a nice weekend away turns into a nightmare when nature decides to fight back against a couple and their litterbug ways.

Want to know what the penalty is for littering in Australia?  Watch this film.  If the locals don’t kill you then the wildlife will.

7)  PATRICK (1978)

Two words: Psychokinetic powers.  Patrick is in a coma.  Three years earlier he murdered his mother and her lover by electrocution.  Using in psychokinetic powers, Patrick falls in love with a nurse at the hospital by communicating with an electric typewriter.  He controls the men in her life and also manages to defend himself again Matron Cassidy who has plotted to murder him.

Underrated, understated and often overlooked, PATRICK is one hell of an Australian movie that shows even if we’re not awake, us Aussies know how to fight back.

6)  NEEDLE (2010)

A vastly underrated movie, NEEDLE is an independent supernatural horror film starring Michael Dorman and John Jarratt.  If you’re into voodoo styled movies, then this Aussie horror is for you.  A box-like device is given to Dorman’s character, Ben, and on the same night he shows it to friends, the box is stolen.  One by one all of Ben’s friends die in mysterious ways.

NEEDLE will certainly have you sitting on the edge of your seat, trying to work out who exactly is behind the killings and whether or not a voodoo curse is really in effect. 

5)  RAZORBACK (1984)

A giant pig is terrorizing the outback in this Aussie horror from the 80’s.  Doesn’t really sound much like a horror film when I describe it like that, but RAZORBACK has been described as title Jaws on trotters.

This is no Pumbaa.  This wild boar means business as it rips through a community, killing anyone it can get its tusks on.  After his journalist girlfriend is killed, Carl goes out in search of her and discovers that the outback, and its wildlife and locals aren’t ones to be messed with.

4)  CUT (2000)

A group of film students attempt to finish a horror movie that stopped production years earlier when the director was killed.  Unaware that every attempt to complete the picture coincided with the murders of those involved, the students return to the original location in an isolated part of the country.  When filming begins, so do the killings.

Kylie Minogue stars alongside one of my favourite Australian actors, Stephen Curry.  CUT combines both horror and humor with a thriller styled pace.  Best part:  Watching Australia’s pop princess having her tongue cut out.

3)  WOLF CREEK (2005)

After my rather successful review of WOLF CREEK, I don’t blame you all for thinking that it would be at number one.  Starring John Jarratt as outback killer, Mick Taylor, this film shows the dark side of the Australian outback. 

Based on a number of real life events, including the Ivan Milat backpacker murders and Peter Falconio’s disappearance, WOLF CREEK shows the world that in Australia no one can hear you scream. 

2)  THE TUNNEL (2011)

This film uses a documentary-style of horror as it shows us what’s really lurking in an underground network of abandoned railway tunnels that run underneath Sydney. 

I’m not one for found-footage style movies, but THE TUNNEL shows that they can be scary and deliver on goosebumps and chills running up and down your spine.  What’s in the darkness beneath the city of Sydney?  What kind of creature lurks in the tunnels?  Will they get out alive?  Watch THE TUNNEL and find out.

1)  THE LOVED ONES (2009)

Only recently released in the US, THE LOVED ONES hit a home run.  The character of Lola Stone makes Annie Wilkes from MISERY look like a teddy bear as she tortures Brent (Xavier Samuel) after he rejects her request to go to the formal.

This film has everything a horror fan could want.  Blood, guts and gore, suspense, and genuine terror as Lola and her father wreak havoc all the while playing Kasey Chambers’ Not Pretty Enough, which has gone from a number one smash hit in 2001 to being one of the creepiest songs around.  THE LOVED ONES is sure to leave you cowering behind a couch cushion as a warm sensation flows down your leg….


  1. OK I've only seen like two of these. Saw and Wolf Creek. I haven't heard of Patrick, Needle, Cut, Long Weekend or The Cars That Ate Paris. Me thinks I need to watch some Aussie horror. ^_^

  2. The Loved Ones had its moments but I think Wolf Creek was better. That cemented Aussie horror on the world and let's face it, your review was kick ass! I did like Patrick, Long Weekend and The Tunnel but I'm really surprised that The Reef didn't make your list.

    I can't wait for your Valentine's Day surprise either. I'm watching your blog religiously for it.

  3. Saw and Daybreakers are Australian movies? Wow, I never knew that. Saw The Tunnel. Ah-maze-ing

  4. Oooh cool. I'm going to have to get these.

  5. Fuuuuckkk. I never heard of half of these titles. I'm with Summer. I think I have to go hunting in the DVD stores looking for some of these titles. Question, why didn't you put this up on Truly Disturbing? Don't they usually get your top 13 lists?