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Directed by Directed by Jody Dwyer
Written by Written by Michael Boughen, Rod Morris, Jody Dwyer
Starring Starring Nathan Phillips, Leigh Whannell, Bille Brown, Mirrah Foulkes
Produced by Produced by Michael Boughen, Rod Morris
All right, folks—strap in and brace yourself, because it’s that special time of year again. Never mind that it seems to come at a different time every year, because even though it does, it still comes, and that’s good enough.
It’s After Dark Horrorfest time again, folks, and the time of year when horror buffs get to feel their mojo the very hardest. This time around, we’re kicking things off with Dying Breed, a story that makes dinner time fun time once again.
While hunting for a rare tiger in the depths of Tasmania, four adventurous types discover the town of Sarah, formerly the home of the cannibalistic monster known as the Pieman. This would be bad enough under normal circumstances—stumbling across a lost town in the middle of nowhere that was the former home of a cannibal isn’t exactly the thing you do on vacation. But here’s where it gets worse; seems the town took a liking to the Pieman’s way of life…and began to favor the long pig themselves.
Oh…and they’re also needing fresh “breeding stock”.
This is actually the kind of movie that Australians seem to flock to in droves—it reminds me greatly of Wolf Creek and I hoped and prayed going in that this wasn’t going to suck anywhere near as hard as that miserable wreck did. And gratefully, it didn’t. This isn’t to say it was anything fantastic, but it definitely wasn’t a complete waste of time. This is likely not the dog in the series.
What Dying Breed does not do well is scare anybody worth anything at all. This is really not scary. There’s not a whole lot of blood, maybe a handful of jump scares, it’s actually rather tame as horror movies go. With only a couple of exceptions this will be so sedate you’d think it’d qualify for PG-13 rank. This does change up somewhat in the last half hour of the movie, but aside from this it’s actually pretty sedate.
However, what Dying Breed DOES do well is project malice. There is something very clearly wrong here—for the entire first hour you will be largely unable to shake the overwhelming feeling that there is SOMETHING very wrong here. Just what, who knows? And you won’t know until the last half hour or so. This ultimate surprise is not so ultimate at all—there will actually be several of them before the end.
And the ending, meanwhile, will pack in tons of great surprises, so that’s another plus in its account.
The special features include English and Spanish subtitles, a producer’s trailer, a making of featurette, some Miss Horrorfest webisodes, and a collection of trailers to lead off—they’re unaccessible from the disk, so you’ll get to see them in the beginning if you don’t skip over them.
All in all, the After Dark Horrorfest gets off to a fair start—let’s just see how well it can hold up. Dying Breed starts out a bit slow, but turns out fairly well in the end.
Steve Anderson is a film critic who collects action figures so he can dress them up as his favorite horror villains. He lives somewhere in the United States.
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