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Snowtown [DVD]

Daniel Henshall , Lucas Pittaway , Justin Kurzel    Suitable for 18 years and over   DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
Price: £7.39 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Daniel Henshall, Lucas Pittaway, Louise Harris, Craig Coyne
  • Directors: Justin Kurzel
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Revolver Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 19 Mar 2012
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,077 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Sixteen-year-old Jamie (Lucas Pittaway) longs for an escape from the violence that surrounds him in Adelaides northern suburbs. His salvation arrives in the form of John (Daniel Henshall), a charismatic man who unexpectedly comes to his aid.

However, as events occur around him, including the disappearance of several people, Jamie begins to harbour deep suspicions about John and his motivations. When the truth is finally revealed, Jamies hopes of happiness are threatened by both his loyalty for, and fear of, his father figure - John Bunting, Australia's most notorious serial killer.


Thrilling ... unforgettable and at times unnervingly mesmerizing. INDIEWIRE
Unforgettable... an intelligent, layered dissection of human psychology... Intense, unflinching and incredibly powerful" - TOTAL FILM
A Stunning Debut - FILM4
Impressively directed, brilliantly acted and a complete work of focused, brutal power **** - SUNDAY HERALD
The entire cast are superbly believable... a triumph of naturalism - SCREEN DAILY
Absolutely mesmerising, uncompromising crime movie masterpiece - THE AGE
**** - TIME OUT
Definitely one to watch during awards season **** - LOVEFILM Impressively acted... well directed **** - EMPIRE
"One of the best films to come out of Australia in years" - The Mirror ****

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Snowtown 31 Aug 2012
By Rosie McCaffrey VINE VOICE
At 119 minutes and with an emphasis on the nuances of the characters' relationships and psychology, Snowtown is what I'd call a simmering pot. Calling it a slow burner would imply there's some kind of climactic explosion at the conclusion, which there isn't. It's more a very chilling period, or a punch in the solar plexus that makes you bend double to muffle the pain of the impact. When the film closes and the credits roll, with a disconcertingly jaunty piece of music, you are left feeling cold and kind of derelict--something like the abandoned bank vault where all the bodies were stored alone and forgotten for so many years.

You know, thinking about it now I don't even know if I would call Snowtown a `horror' movie, because it certainly isn't a conventional one. There is very little gore aside from some severed kangaroo limbs (the noise that accompanies the image is even more disturbing) and a particularly gruelling torture scene which plays a pivotal part in the narrative--and it's because the film is not exploring body horror (despite the grisly subject matter), but psychological horror. Or, if this doesn't sound too pretentious, the many shifting faces of horror.

The thing with Snowtown is that it all takes place in this densely populated and moribund suburb of a major Australian city where crime is rife and the authorities don't care. In steps John Bunting, who in its despair and abandonment, the community scraping by on government benefits looks to as a leader, a dispenser of justice, and to the main character, a father figure. Charming and charismatic, John soon ingratiates himself into the heart of the community scarred by paedophilia and drug abuse. He champions ideologies which border on hypothetical lynch mob operations against those deemed morally corrupt.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a date movie... 28 Mar 2012
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.
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nightmarish 9 Dec 2011
(dir Justin Kurzel/120 minutes)

The film is a warts-and-all dramatisation of the notorious "Snowtown murders", a gruesome series of eleven killings that took place in Australia between 1992 and 1999. Ringleader John Bunting and others, including his susceptible teenage stepson James, preyed upon people they suspected to be paedophiles, perverts or homosexuals, stuffing their corpses into barrels and then stealing their welfare benefit payments. So, as you can imagine, Snowtown is a tough watch; so tough, in fact, that several people walked out during the Manchester screening I attended last month. I have to confess that several scenes made me feel rather queasy (such as when Bunting demands his stepson prove himself by shooting his dog) and made me question why I'd not just gone to see the new Twilight movie instead (though that would probably have made me feel equally nauseous). For Snowtown is arguably more frightening or unnerving than any horror film; even forgetting the fact that this is a true story (which, admittedly, is impossible to do), the casual way Bunting disposes of his victims is truly terrifying. We have this imperious juxtaposition between scenes of sustained torture followed immediately by Bunting jovially cooking breakfast or else mundane, perfectly ordinary family dinners with everybody having a good time. That's why this scared me. It all feels very close to home, very mundane, very real, almost banal; Bunting (portrayed here as charismatic and charming) commits his murders in the family home, often with the television playing away in the background. It's not an easy watch and certainly not for the faint hearted.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Boddies in the Barrels Murders.
The press junket and first wave of critical notices built Snowtown up as a throat ripper that will cause you nightmares. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Spike Owen
4.0 out of 5 stars Tough stomach required.
An excellent, if hard to watch movie. Some of the scenes will have you cowering behind your settee, but make no mistakes, this is not just some gory attempt of shock horror, it is... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ricoh
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great just as expected
Published 2 months ago by mark ashton
1.0 out of 5 stars If you like the simmering sullen and downbeat movies then by all ...
A depressing arty fly-on-the-wall movie that we managed to watch for about 20 minutes before giving up. Read more
Published 3 months ago by R. C. Harris
3.0 out of 5 stars Too depressing to entertain...
Set in South Australia in the 90s, Jamie and his half brothers live with their mother Elizabeth.

Jamie is being molested by his half brother and a neighbour. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Mr. Corey S. Newcombe
4.0 out of 5 stars fantastic
i orderd this dvd and waz with me within 4days very good.glad i tracked this dvd down not ever seen it in any shops
Published 10 months ago by carrie
5.0 out of 5 stars Chillingly realistic!
Dark, grey, moody, frightening, graphic.....but essential viewing especially if your an Aussie movie fan (Wolf Creek, Rogue etc) Chillingly real........enjoy!!!!
Published 13 months ago by Julie Nattrass
5.0 out of 5 stars A dark masterpiece!
I've watched more films than I have had hot meals. Like any person you develop your own 'best' list. If I was asked what are my favourite films, this would be in my top ten. Why? Read more
Published 18 months ago by M. Gates
4.0 out of 5 stars Australian serial killers
I rented this movie out of the dvd shop and enjoyed it so much I wanted a copy for myself. As usual on Amazon the price was very low and I keep this movie with any australian... Read more
Published 19 months ago by jennifer mccaigue
3.0 out of 5 stars GRIM BUT FASCINATING
The only serial killing group.This is a grim film but very well acted and directed.After watching this + extras you'll want to find out more about these sickos.
Published 19 months ago by Vlad the emailer
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