The Snowtown Murders (Justin Kurzel – 2011) B+

The Snowtown Murder is disturbing and ugly. The characters, based on real life individuals in Australia’s worst serial killer case, are sad at best and psychopathic at their worst. Technically this is the story of a serial killer if you believe the synopsis on Netflix. It’s really more than that. It’s a character study of various individuals and even a whole community that allowed John Bunting to kidnap, torture and kill several people. The structure of the film is a bit confusing at times because the events unfold slowly and sometimes in a jumbled order. This makes it more effective somehow by slowly building the character and our perception of John Bunting from an enthusiastic neighborhood watch guy to a deranged, psychopathic and homophobic killer. It slowly dawns on us that he does what he does because he really enjoys it. That apparently never occurs to his accomplices though.

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