Horror filmmakers in Australia never feel the need to apologize, nor should they. They never play it safe and therefore produce some of the most edgy, outlandish and raw horror films we have seen in some time.
Tony D’Aquino’s The Furies is no exception.
Airlie Dodds (Rain Taylor in Neighbours and Bridie in Ready for This) is Kayla the de facto leader of The Furies, a group of women who have been kidnapped and forced to participate in a Hunger Games, kill-or-be-killed style of enigmatic experiment, cryptic competition.
In Greek mythology, the Furies or Erinyes, were three sisters who were warrior goddesses. They dealt out revenge to evil men who deserved to be punished.
The men (or Beasts as they are called) in The Furies are maniacs who get their fashion sense from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s Sawyer Family or Jason Voorhees’ “slack-jawed yokel” look from Friday The 13th Part Two. They are stylishly dressed in dingy overalls, creepy masks made from human skin and accessorize their outfits with machetes, scythes, knives and pitch forks.
Like the other Furies, Kayla woke up in a black box in the middle of a forest near an old mining town. The battleground is surrounded by sensors which prevent any of the Furies or the Beasts from beating a hasty retreat so it is a battle royale without the Japanese high school students, of course.
The Us versus Them mentality among the Furies and the Beasts isn’t as clear cut as one would think though. Both sides also turn on each other adding another layer to the survival duel.
The Furies isn’t a complicated affair and it doesn’t need to be as the human drama between the Furies themselves and the sensationally sick special effects by TeePee Studios and Dreamgate VFX are what stoke this film’s engine keeping it moving forward at a rapid pace. The axe blade-to-the-face scene is excruciating. It isn’t as horrendous as the mouth-to-the-fireplace scene from Argento’s Deep Red but it’s close.
The Furies doesn’t quite reach the bar set by Series 7: The Contenders, The Running Man, Rollerball or The Hunger Games. It doesn’t need to though. There is enough blood, gore and suspense to get your heart pumping.
The Furies begins streaming on Shudder today.