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The Horseman (2 stars)

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The Horseman

Australian revenge thriller fails to thrill

The template for this Australian murder-revenge drama is clearly Mike Hodges’ classic Get Carter. Writer/director Steven Kastrissios’ film features a tough-as-nails central performance from Peter Marshall as Christian, a revenge-seeking father. The religious connotation of the movie title is carried over in the Old Testament-style retribution carried out by the crusader, who goes on the rampage when his daughter is killed after appearing in a porn movie.

Anyone associated with the porno is on his target list and Christian seeks out the actors, distributors and directors in an effort to find out who is to blame for his daughter’s death. Along the way he meets young runaway Alice (Caroline Marohasy) with whom he has a surrogate father-daughter relationship; the film really comes alive at this point, veering away from Wolf Creek-style violence and concentrating on Christian’s guilt and psychological scars. Unfortunately Kastriossios’ direction ultimately buckles under the weight of horror cliché expectation as he ups the action ante to almost hysterical effect. It would have been better if he had held his horses, as it were.

(18) 90min. Selected release from Fri 30 Oct.

The Horseman trailer

The Horseman

  • 3 stars
  • 2009
  • Australia
  • 90 min
  • 18
  • Directed by: Steven Kastrissios
  • Cast: Peter Marshall, Caroline Marohasy, Brad McMurray

Hysterical Aussie murder-revenge drama in the 'Get Carter' mould, in which a father (Marshall) goes on a killing spree to avenge his daughter's death. While the constant barrage of action and violence is all a bit much, the film's most successful moments come when the man's feelings about his relationship to his daughter…

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