Okay, here’s the thing. I am a screamqueen. I am one of those weird horror people. I am not a gorehound–I am not afraid of the squishy-gross, but I am not a torture-porn fan. So I am at the much-more-than-you-expect level, but not at the what’s-in-her-basement level.
I have also been into horror all of my life. I don’t use that phrase lightly. My wonderful 1970’s parents believed that I, being as spooky smart as I was (that’s for another day), should have access to almost any media I want. Our deal was always this: I could read any book of Mom’s or Dad’s, or in the adult section of the library, or watch any movie my parents had on VHS, as long as I gave my parents a heads-up first. We’d touch base afterwards to see if I was okay…and I knew that I was trusted to handle my own intellect, my own emotions, and to not be afraid of images, words, or ideas.
My first introduction to Australian horror was Stones of Death (1988). I rented it from a Mom-n-Pop video store (a sad loss for movie lovers, because that’s how you found odd little gems), and didn’t even know it was Australian until the first actor spoke with that fabulous accent. Then I got sucked into this horror tale based on the mistreatment of the Aboriginal Australians. This one doesn’t seem to be available right now on VHS or DVD. Correct me if I am wrong, please.
A short list of my recommendations. Consider it followed by a silent plea for more. Educate me, please. I am woefully under-educated.
- The Babadook: yes. Incredible mental illness horror metaphor. Works at the metaphor level, works at the oh-fuck level. I can also do a mean imitation of the voice.
- Cubbyhouse (I don’t know why the only version available is the German uncut version, when it is an Australian movie…)
- Dying Breed: amazing, horrifying, I needed a nap afterwards–I mean that in the best way
- Ghost Ship: best best best opening scene ever
- Stones of Death
- Wolf Creek (based on the real Australian serial killer Ivan Milat. Incredible visual work in this one–emotionally gripping.)
- Wolf Creek 2 (have not seen this one, but the same actor, John Jarratt, plays the killer, so it should be just as horrifying as the original–on my Netflix queue)