Cripes, what a film. I only gave this a whirl as I do like Aussie films for their off-beat humour, kookiness, and the downright bizarre. Unfortunately, this really wasn't any of these. I don't normally 'do' real-life crime but hey-ho.
Now, from the off, there are some rather disturbing themes and imagery, notably child-abuse, male-rape and animal cruelty (albeit already deceased). Just as well i've been married to my long-suffering wife for so long...Oh yes, and this film is to nail-beauty as Marathon Man is to dental procedures, just saying is all.
In terms of aesthetics, it is superficially a beautifully shot film but i'm afraid it's embraced the 'art-house' route with a little too much zeal. Lots of silent mise-en-scene, aimless direction, and meaningful, lingering shots. I'm sure there's others that will disagree but I found the strong Adelaide accent rather impenetrable at times. I can't really fully engage in a movie if by the time my brain's digested one sentence of dialogue i've already missed the next. One more thing, as the characters weren't often introduced properly i'd be left wondering who the heck these random people were in the house.
On the other hand, it is a worthwhile film to watch. It think it works well as a critique of society, a societal microcosm existing in isolation from the 'others' where dubious morality and human nature are nurtured. The characters, by and large, are clearly the dregs of society scraping by in an unenviable existence. Yes, it's a true story of a mass-murderer and his accomplices but that for me was almost secondary.
In short, i'm not convinced it warrants its plaudits but worth a watch.