TIFF 2017: Hounds Of Love review: Dir. Ben Young (2017) By Paul Heath – Jun 7, 2017

hol2Australian filmmaker Ben Young lands a huge sucker punch in TIFF with the debut of his thriller Hounds Of Love, a taut, harrowing and indeed gripping tale full of unrelenting psychological and physical torture from the outset, reported Paul Heath for TheHollywoodNews.com.

The setting for the film is Perth in Western Australia in the late 1980s. We open to a stylish slow motion tracking shot, seemingly from a moving vehicle, the camera pointed towards a school playground, a group of girls engaged in a game of netball. The shot lingers before cutting to uncomfortable close-ups of their legs and upper bodies but they always remain faceless. A couple look on from a nearby parked car. The setup becomes immediately obvious, and soon the drive and his passenger have picked up a young girl as she heads home from the sports practise, the weather searingly hot.

Hounds Of Love review

Moments later the film descends into darker territory, the visuals concentrating on normal household objects, and then blood, ropes and the horrifying sight of used sex toys. The insinuated has happened, the film cutting swiftly on what seems to be a body being buried deep in the Australian bush by a still an as yet unseen figure.

Next, we’re in a bedroom with 17-year-old Vicki (Ashleigh Cummings) and Jason (Harrison Gilbertson). The two are on the bed making out, obviously a pair of individuals more than keen on one another. Vicky is from a recently broken home, her parents having parted following her mums walking out on her surgeon father. Clearly not coping with the split, Vicki has invested more in her friend and the aforementioned Jason, and is looking forward to a big party in town that night..

The people responsible for the crime that opens the movie are soon introduced; troubled thirty-something couple John (Stephen Curry) and Evelyn (Emma Booth), two very unsettled individuals with a hunger for picking up young girls, taking them back to their one-level suburban home and using them for their own personal sexual gratification.


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