I've never been a fan of going into the deep bush for some isolated camping, and this film just seals the deal for me. A film by Damien Power, the 90 min long Killing Ground stars Aaron Pedersen, Harriet Dyer, Ian Meadows, Aaron Glenane and Tiarnie Coupland.
A young couple head into the Aussie bush which holds a bit of nostalgia for Ian; a reminder of his family camping trips at the same camp site. Looking forward to bringing in the new year, they're a little peeved to find another tent already set up in their spot. However they decide there is more than enough room and go about setting up their equipment.
The long day passes and Sam gets a little uneasy when the tent next to them remains empty and decides to investigate. Following the discovery of a wandering child sets them on a path that'll impact their lives and challenge every ounce of their wits, to survive.
A low budget film, this type of Aussie horror has been done before. However, from the start of the film, as you meander on a long drive into the bush where not a lot is happening, you'll still find yourself hooked and engaged, thanks to the acting chops of the strong cast. Aside from bushland, there's not a lot scenically to give you variety visually either, yet you will be glued to the screen, unconsciously holding your breath. Director and Writer Damien Power's masterful stroke of keeping it simplistic and naturalistic, yet filled with the possibilities of its reality is what'll keep you on the edge of your seat.
Aaron Pedersen and Aaron Glennane's performance as German and Chook are talents to be reckoned with. Though bad boys with brutality running through their veins, they also present the reality of the two sided coin of human nature and manage this duality of their personality as naturally as breathing.
The three subplots of German and Chook and the two camping parties all converge at the camping site, and though not every scene is in chronological order, it's not difficult to work out. Harriet Dyer is strong as Sam, as Ian Meadows, who plays her husband, is realistic that we don't all respond to fear in the same way. The other noteworthy pant-wetting performance comes from Tiarnie Coupland who plays Em, the older daughter of the other camping family. Her realisations and fears will be yours as she navigates your emotions with her innocence and naivety.
For me, this film was definitely worth seeing, and going to an Aussie flick is like coming home. Just don't ever invite me to go camping in the bush!