Strangerland is available in the UK on DVD from 4th July 2016.
Director: Kim Farrant
Writer: Michael Kinirons, Fiona Seres (Screenplay) Fiona Seres (Story)
Starring: Nicole Kidman, Joseph Fiennes, Hugo Weaving, Lisa Flanagan, Meyne Wyatt, Maddison Brown, Nicholas Hamilton, Jim Russell, Sean Keenan
Plot: A family finds their dull life in a rural outback town rocked after their two teenage children disappear into the desert, sparking disturbing rumors of their past.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Dark Thriller
Story: Strangerland starts by introducing us to our leading family Catherine (Kidman), Matthew (Fiennes), Lily (Brown) and Tom (Hamilton) living in rural outback in a dull existence because of something that has led them there from their past.
Strangerland is a film that tackles many difficult subjects surrounding the main story while we do get plenty of the missing children angle but it is the moments from the family’s past that really shines through. We see how the subjects get handled with care being it nature of the Lily character. We do get to see similar elements that were used in the Prisoners with the settings changed for too hot but it is also unfair to say it is just the same, we do get the father who would rather react before learning the truth but the mother is a lot stronger.
Nicole Kidman: Catherine is the mother of the family who has accepted the change in the family life to escape from the past. Once her children go missing she wants to go to all lengths to find out where they are as we see the relationship with her husband get stretch further than before. Nicole gives one of her best performance in years in this role.
Joseph Fiennes: Matthew is the father of the family and the town’s pharmacist, he hates the new life the family has to leave as you can see how it has pushed him away from Catherine. When the children go missing he knows who is to blame showing how he has started to reach the end of his acceptance of his daughter’s ways. Joseph is great in this role showing the full range of emotions through the film.
Hugo Weaving: Rae is the sheriff leading the investigation into searching for the missing children, he has to treat the situation like any other but the past does make him look down avenues from the family’s past. Being part of the community he doesn’t want to get any of the local incriminated in this case. Hugo is great in this role where he goes against his normal villainous roles.
Support Cast: Strangerland has a lesser known supporting cast that all excel next to the bigger names. Each member of the supporting cast feels like they are naturally from within this small town community.
Director Review: Kim Farrant – Kim give us a drama thriller that could easily be put on a par with Prisoners and Gone Baby Gone.
Thriller: Strangerland keeps us on edge waiting with the family for news on what happened to their kids, we are just waiting for the next twist in the story.
Settings: Strangerland keeps nearly the whole film within the desert like small down, give us wonderful shots as well as dragging us into the desperation the family are searching for.
Special Effects: Strangerland only uses the special effects for the dream sequences and the dust storm, they are work very well with the story.
Suggestion: Strangerland is one I would suggest watching, the tension and family dynamic keep you on edge throughout. (Watch)
Best Part: The performances are all top level from everyone involved.
Worst Part: Some of the slang words are not understandable unless you know them.
Believability: The elements of this story could all be a real story.
Chances of Tears: No
Chances of Sequel: No
Post Credits Scene: No
Similar Too: Prisoners and Gone Baby Gone.
Oscar Chances: No
Budget: $10 Million
Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes
Overall: Brilliant tension filled thriller