Australia brings their horror game to the Toronto After Dark film festival tonight with their bloody and violent The Furies. A riff on the Final Girl trope as well as a mash-up of Battle Royale and Halloween the film is deliciously gory and excitingly paced.
When Kayla (Airlie Dodds) is abducted and wakes up in a black box she has no idea what sort of nightmare she is about to be plunged into in the outback of Australia. But she and the audience had better buckle up, because it’s going to be a fight to the finish.
Six young women, six masked psychopaths, and the hunt is on.
I don’t want to give spoilers about the reveals and twists, though I found the epilepsy connection a little silly. That being said, one is quite happy to take it in stride as the axes, knives and scythes swing, the blood begins to flow and the flesh is torn asunder.
Shockingly violent, the film puts Kayla and her allies (?) through the grinder, and each of them are going to have to fight to survive even as the numbers on both sides are whittled down.
This is a movie that seems specifically designed for the After Dark crowd, and I think they are going to find it massively entertaining, as the plot is engaging, and the makeup and special effects are practical and really good looking.
I also love the fact that the story takes the horror genre and smashes it right up against the Battle Royale/Hunger Games story and it not only works, but works fantastically well. It almost makes me wish the film was longer so that they could fill out the world a little more.
But as a brisk eighty minute flick, the film is all chills and thrills with no spills. It’s a sleek, bloody machine that races us to an inescapable conclusion, and leaves us wanting more, in the best way.
Dodds is fun to watch, and the arc of her character is believable, within the confines of the world she’s in, and watching how she changes through the course of the film as she fights for her life is the essential definition of the Final Girl.
This is definitely one to see with the genre-loving film festival crowd so head on down to the Scotiabank Theater tonight, and check this one out! And of course, I’ll see you After Dark!