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"Beaten To Death" - movie review

Fans of gritty Aussie horror rejoice - BEATEN TO DEATH is the brutal outback thriller you've been waiting for. Filmmaker Sam Curtain returns to the grindhouse roots of Ozploitation to deliver a punishingly violent descent into backcountry hell.

While trailers paint BEATEN TO DEATH as torture porn, it transcends that reductive label. Curtain expertly teases and torments the audience, luring us into grimly foreboding set pieces before unleashing visceral scenes of carnage. Make no mistake, this is an excruciating watch - but it's a masterful balancing act, neither numbing the audience to violence nor glorying in it.

Anchoring the mayhem is a compelling story crafted by Curtain and co-writer Benjamin Clarke. Thomas Roach delivers a haunting lead performance as a man whose minor mistakes snowball into a harrowing fight for survival. His agonizing choices drive home Curtain's themes about the ripple effects of our actions.

The societal divide between outback and urban Australia looms large in BEATEN TO DEATH's DNA. This is familiar turf for Ozploitation, but Curtain puts a fresh spin on the tropes. Stunning cinematography contrasts the beauty and menace of the remote setting. The killers are fully realized characters rather than backwoods boogeymen.

Brutality aside, BEATEN TO DEATH is an expertly modulated experience that heralds an electrifying new voice in Australian horror. It warrants consideration alongside classics like WOLF CREEK and ROAD GAMES. Go in steeled for the violence, stay for the vision. This is destined to be one of 2023's most unforgettable thrillers.


BEATEN TO DEATH is directed by Sam Curtain and stars Thomas Roach, David Tracy, Justan Wagner and Nicole Tudor.

In Theaters September 1, 2023 courtesy of Welcome Villian

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