Australian horror reborn: We review Charlie’s Farm

As damaging as it might be to its chances of a fair distribution at home, Charlie’s Farm is the R rated film Australia has been dying to see. Its ruthless, no-holds-barred savagery makes it one of the greatest Australian slasher films of all time, and while it may not have the brains of some contemporary offerings like Greg Mclean’s Wolf Creek, it’s got much, much more brawn.

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Bored with not much to do, Jason (Dean Kirkright), Donkey (Sam Coward), Natasha (Tara Reid) and Melanie (Allira Jaques) head out to Charlie’s farm for the weekend to explore the urban legend of a psycho killer, Charlie, whose parents were murdered by a vengeful mob accusing the couple of terrible doings towards backpackers working the farm.

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It’s not long into the group’s trip when we’re introduced to Charlie, played by a hulking Nathan Jones. He’s hellbent on killing the intruders in the most violent ways imaginable – without giving anything away one victim incurs the longest, most excruciating throat slashing ever seen on film. While the squeamish might not be able to help but look away, those who respect world class special effects of the highest quality will find a lot to appreciate, not only during this scene but throughout Charlie’s entirety.

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Charlie’s Farm is riddled with familiar yet gorgeous horror film clichés that have made the genre so rich over the decades. There’s a campfire scene, pretty blonds, a mentally impaired child and at the centre of it all, a deeply disturbed family headed by horror film veteran Bill Moseley (House of 1000 Corpses) who gives the film its most impressive performance. He’s so electrifying here that it’s a shame his role wasn’t drawn out a little longer.

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In fact, all of the performances are better than expected for a low budget horror film. Trudi Ross is gut-wrenching as Charlie’s overprotective mother and the two male leads are wonderfully humorous. But it’s two more Americans who surprise the most – Kane Hodder (Jason Takes Manhattan) can actually act and he does a great job as Tony and Tara Reid turns in her most tolerable performance ever.

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At the heart of all of this is the film’s director – an incredibly talented Chris Sun (Daddy’s Little Girl) who demonstrates a genuine understanding of a genre he’s obviously so passionate about. This isn’t child’s play, this is a sick and twisted imagination that would be wasted on anything other than horror. If Sun can maintain this high level of quality in future filmmaking endeavours then not only is Australian horror in sterling hands but Australian filmmaking altogether.

Charlie’s Farm: 3.5/5
Directed by: Chris Sun
Starring: Tara Reid, Kane Hodder, Bill Moseley, Nathan Jones, Dean Kirkright, Same Coward and Allira Jaques
Review by: Matthew Eeles

16 thoughts on “Australian horror reborn: We review Charlie’s Farm

    • you would know bullshit cause you have seen the film??? it would be funny if you had considering its first screening was on the 15/11/14!!!

      maybe climb back into your hole and leave the comments for the grown ups hey!!

    • Hey Bullshitt can I ask how many films you have written and directed? For the horrible director I do believe he has done 3 successful films now and that are far from horrible I do believe one of the best directors to come out of Australia. as for the actors hmmmm really ??? Tara Reid who has been in how many Hollywood movies ill name you a few American Pie, Van wilder. Nat Jones not only was he a WWE superstar also starred in Troy and soon to be released the Mad Max fury road. Kane Hodder one of the best horror villains to hit the big screen, Played Jason and also starred in plenty more. As for the new Australian Actors that starred in Charlies Farm I do believe deserve credit for their performance. As for the story line I honestly think it shits all over wolf Creek…. So I ask you this Question Bullshit and leave you thinking. Do you think you could of done a better job ????

    • Yup im wondering the same! There is NO way this is a legit review! no wonder more and more Australian directors use either US actors or Australian actors that use US accents – because movies like this give other Australian movies a really bad name!
      Worse movie and plot i have ever seen!

  1. It felt like a very wooden view experience for me.

    An extremely convenient story surrounded lackluster characters, who all seemed to have the same voice. There was very little opportunity to build empathy for the leads and as such, I felt very little when the inevitable happened.

    There was limited tension and some decent plot holes. The plot holes can be forgiven (to a certain degree) in most horror films, but the whole point is tension isn’t it? Horror should scare an audience and give them an experience.

    The cinematography was fairly bland and unexciting, excluding a handful of nice shots. Dialogue was clear and is normally the first sign of an amateur, so great work in getting this right! The special effects were done very well, as rightly so with the pooled experience called upon.

    It’s certainly not a bad movie, just go in knowing what to expect. I wish the director well and can tell that he loves the genre, I’m just suggesting a little more time working on the script and characters. A script is the blueprint for the film, get that right and everything else should fall into place.

    Still worth watching to see the talent coming up in Australia and some interesting kills.

    Best of luck with future films.

  2. The gore scenes were shockingly realistic. Quite a graphic film. I loved that there was even some comedy, how many horror films have you been to where the entire cinema bursts out laughing one moment then sits in shocked silence the next? I would definitely recommend seeing Charlie’s Farm.

  3. The only thing I hate about Horror films is that the sweet sexy blondes never survive(except for Ali Larter in House on the Haunted Hill and the heroine of Captivity).. Gosh I love blondes.

  4. Made in Australia .Come on aussie keep them comin . love the ozzie films .. Theres not much made here anymore { no Holdens ,no Bonds , not even Victa } so let the ozzie films roll before we loss then too .

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