A very twisted couple is the centrepiece of this brand new Australian feature, which has left critics around the world raving. John and his wife Evelyn (Stephen Curry and Emma Booth, pictured below) enjoy abducting young girls, hiding them in their home, torturing and sadistically killing them. Welcome to the strange world of Hounds of Love.
The film opens in slow motion with young girls playing netball, while John and Evelyn watch them from inside their car in a distance. After the game ends, the couple stops vehicle car close to a teenager who is walking alone. Evelyn convinces her to get inside and soon after we watch the girl being murdered. Meanwhile, we are introduced to Vicki Maloney (Ashleigh Cummings, pictured at the top), who has a very strange relationship with her mother (Susie Porter). She’s on the way to see her mother as she is offered a lift by John and Evelyn.
Ashleigh Cummings’s terrific performance is the film’s highlight, and it will keep haunting you throughout. Her chemistry with other characters, her physical aura, and her delivery of lines are simply superb. Susie Porter is also outstanding. The frustration at not being able to find her daughter, the realisation of her mistakes, the refusal to go back to her husband: she conveys every emotion with perfection. Her scream at the end of the movie will leave you shell shocked.
Stephen Curry and Emma Booth as the murderous couple are good performers, too. The problem is that their motif is missing, and so it is very difficult to grasp their relationship. She’s a failed mother, a possessive spouse, and yet she doesn’t want her husband to kill Vicki. I fail to understand whether she’s meant to be a strong character or not
The cinematography is effective and it gives you a very good feel of 1980s. The production design and the music score are convincing enough, but the duration of the movie at nearly 110 minutes feels a bit long. The screenplay is tense and edgy – but only until the climax, which is a little disappointing. Overall, this is a dirty and disturbing movie, the problem is that you have probably seen it all before.
Hounds of Love opens on Friday July 7th in cinemas across the UK.
Click here for our review of another film directed by an Australian and about the subject or kidnap, and out in UK cinemas right now.