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The School - Film Review

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by Kiesten McCauley (subscribe)
My early career was in teaching, writing, producing and directing for theatre, comedy and impro shows. Now I'm a professional creative person. Mostly high-end branding, strategy, writing, editing and digital content creation.
Published December 5th 2018
No rest for the wicked these school holidays
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Killer new horror movie hits the big screen

Fans of scary movies and people who are so over all the family-friendly fare in the cinema will be glad to hear The School hits cinemas on December 6th. This spooky Aussie-made movie sees the main character, Amy, trapped in some kind of purgatory for children, unsure how she got there or how to escape. She fights demons and becomes a protector for a group of scary-looking kids as they try to get away from impending evil. In the 'real world' Amy's been struggling with her own demons. Her son David has been in a coma for two years. She's let everything else in her life fall apart as she waits by his bedside, unwilling to let go of any hope of recovery.

school, movie, thriller, horror, australian, movie, cinema, film
Watch out for these creepy critters!

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Scary twins trope? Tick!

Storm Ashwood's script rivals any Hollywood horror film. It's a great concept and keeps you guessing until the mysteries start to unfold. It's a really clever idea to mirror Amy's personal demons with a struggle in a demonic otherworld. Aaron Mclisky's cinematography is excellent. There's a creativity that keeps things interesting while still using those signifiers we're used to getting in a horror film.

The production design, costuming and makeup really stand out as being top-notch in this film. There's brilliant attention to detail in each and every scene. It's very creative and a feast for the eyes for those who enjoy a great, creepy horror aesthetic. The special effects are well used and very convincing.

While Megan Drury is a cool, kick-ass character as Dr. Amy Payne, Nicholas Hope as Dr. Wang is outstanding. He acts rings around everyone in the cast and delivers a wonderfully moody performance. His characterisation really amps up the tension and horrific tone.

The weakest link acting wise is Will McDonald as Zac. The Home and Away favourite is sure to please his young fans, but those not enamoured with his looks will find less to love about his performance. The young actor is clearly putting in a lot of effort, but often comes across as self-indulgent, unmotivated and sadly as one of the 'bad guys', he's funnier than he is scary. Milly Alcock as Ling, on the other hand, delivers some lovely, nuanced work. She's very believable and with a look, she lets you know just what her character is thinking.

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So good at acting, he can do it with his eyes closed.

The School is likely to have the widest appeal to viewers aged 15 to 25 who enjoy creepy thrillers. It's rated M, so not suitable for children under 15.

In Select Cinemas Nationally from 6 December


Village Sunshine
Village Jam Factory
Village Southland
The Backlot Studios
Peninsula Cinemas Rosebud

New South Wales and ACT
Event Liverpool
Event Burwood
Majestic Port Macquarie
Majestic Singleton
Hoyts Belconnen
Hoyts Chatswood Mandarin
Byron Bay Pighouse

Event Indooroopilly Majestic Nambour

Western Australia
Hoyts Carousel

South Australia
Wallis Mt Barker
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Why? Excellent sets, costumes and make up
When: Opens December 6
Where: Selected cinemas around Australia
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