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EIFF 2019: The Furies (2019) writer and director: Tony D'Aquino

N.B. This film is not on general release in the UK at present. It is showing at the Edinburgh International Film Festival on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd June 2019.

Beauties and the beasts?

This Australian horror features Airlie Dodds as Kayla, an epileptic adolescent girl who is abducted along with her best friend Maddie. She wakes up in a black box in the middle of The Outback with some vague memories of an operation on her eye. The top of it suddenly opens of its own accord and when she emerges, she reads the word “BEAUTY” emblazoned on its side.

She soon discovers that a number of girls of a similar age to herself are trapped in the same area - and are being hunted down by a number of masked maniacs. Moreover, she discovers during one of her epileptic fits that she is able to see through the eyes of one of their pursuers. While fighting for her life, she attempts to track down her best friend and find out more about the insane predicament in which she has found herself.

The Furies (2019)

The Furies is a bona fide mash-up of horror influences. While it bears a considerable inspirational stamp from numerous backwoods bloodletters such as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), The Hills Have Eyes (1977) and Wolf Creek (2005), there are also elements lifted from Battle Royale (2000) and even a telling reference to the classic Beauty and the Beast tale. Spiritually, however, it comes closest to Andrés Goteira’s Dhogs (2017), albeit with a whole lot more gore.

In fact, this is one of the most gruesome films to have been unleashed in recent years. Intestines spill from an open stomach wound. A face is cut off. Heads explode. Another head gets chopped in half. Arms are torn out. Eyes are gouged. And so on, and so forth. Writer/director Tony D'Aquino has a solid grasp on maintaining the pace and tension throughout the film’s compact runtime.

The Dhogs aspect, however, comes in with the explicit insinuations of pure voyeurism and the forced subservience of women to primal male desires. This subtext is gradually unveiled throughout the carnage, enabling the film to transcend being just another solidly-assembled piece of genre trash.

Runtime: 82 mins

Dir: Tony D'Aquino

Script: Tony D'Aquino

Starring: Airlie Dodds, Linda Ngo, Taylor Ferguson, Ebony Vagulans

Rating: ☆☆☆☆

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