Snowtown (aka The Snowtown Murders) review by Alyse Garner - Cinema Paradiso
A young boy who lives on a housing estate with his mother and younger brothers feels trapped in his local barren and violent landscape. Yet when a man enters his mother’s life he may have found salvation in the strong and ever smiling father figure of John Bunting (Daniel Henshall).
Based on books written after a series of murder trials held in Adelaide, Australia, Snowtown is about the events that lead to the harrowing discovery of a series of human body parts that had been abandoned barrels in a rented former bank building. Eventually four people were convicted of the murders of twelve people after the remains of eight victims were discovered.
This strange and disturbing tale is told by a largely unknown cast, the star of which is by far and away Lucas Pittaway who plays Jamie, the fourteen year old boy who finds himself suddenly wrapped up in the whole grizzly debacle. His portrayal of the weak and impressionable young boy is outstandingly emotional; he displays a wealth of deep and mature emotions in the movies two hour run time.
The cast are probably the best thing about this film; unfortunately this narrative has not been crafted with a strong enough spine to carry through with enough clarity to truly let the performances shine. You can not help but find yourself somehow at sea; left to understand and decipher the mundane building blocks of the narrative – like how Bunting really came into the lives of this penniless family, he seems somehow to simply appear – as the movie is concentrating too much upon the turmoil and emotion of the events themselves.
Despite this I would highly recommend Snowtown if only to satisfy you’re most morbid sense of curiosity.