I just finished watching Snowtown (2011) and I honestly feel just completely gutted. The film’s based on Australia’s worst serial killer, John Bunting, and focuses on his relationship with his girlfriend’s son, Jamie, who Bunting skillfully manipulates into helping him. Someone commented on netflix that it’s a brave film that requires a brave audience — absolutely true. It is masterfully done by director Justin Kurzel who handles the story with such command and maturity. It reads a bit like a Gus van Sant film, a la Elephant (2003), with long shots painting a bleak picture of the mundane life of these individuals; it’s this background that makes the things that happen in the film pop out in an even more shocking and ugly way. Despite the fact that it is about a serial killer, it is not the violence that will haunt you; more disturbing is the complete psychological control this man exerts over the young and impressionable Jamie, who to me, feels almost as much a victim as those who were murdered. The performance by Lucas Pittaway is truly haunting and absolutely blows me away, particularly the fact that this was his first role! I’d give this a cautious recommendation — this film is heavy with a capital H. It’s not for everyone, not only because of its subject matter, but for some stylistic choices as well (the slow pacing in the beginning might read boring for people who have trouble getting into a film). It honestly left me with an uneasy feeling. It’s one of those movies that will take a while to shake off. Very powerful.