Hounds of Love

This 80s Australia-set serial killer tale, inspired by true events, is an impressive, unnerving debut feature from director Ben Young

Film Review by Josh Slater-Williams | 18 Jul 2017
Film title: Hounds of Love
Director: Ben Young
Starring: Emma Booth, Ashleigh Cummings, Stephen Curry, Susie Porter, Damian de Montemas, Harrison Gilbertson
Release date: 28 Jul
Certificate: 18

Aside from sharing a title, thriller Hounds of Love has little obviously in common with the Kate Bush song and album of the same name, though it ends with another atmospheric 80s hit and is set during the same period. Perth, Australia is the location for Ben Young’s impressive, near-unrelentingly unnerving debut feature. A portrait of a serial killer couple, John (Curry) and Evelyn White (Booth), who stalk, torture and murder young girls – the slow-motion opening sequence provokes immediate uneasiness in its apparent leering on teens playing netball, revealed to be the voyeuristic perspective of the two predators, rather than a filmmaker’s clueless male gaze.

The couple’s latest victim, Vicki (Cummings), is abducted on her way to a party, having just fought with her recently divorced mother (Porter). Chained to a bed, Vicki quickly susses the instability of her captors’ dynamic and tries to exploit the glimpses of Evelyn’s maternal instincts. Of the central trio of commendable performances, Booth, in particular, is mesmerising as Evelyn, oscillating between being vicious abuser and abused party herself. 

Released by Arrow Films