Are we in the middle of an Australian horror revival? It’s a label I hesitate to bandy around; horror never really goes away as a genre, but it does ebb and flow, and right now we seem to be at high tide in this here Great Southern Land.
In 2022 alone, looking at both wide release and the festival circuit, we’ve had the witchy arthouse darling You Won’t Be Alone, shark attack thriller The Reef: Stalked, low budget ghost story Apparitions, Ozploitation throwback Ribspreader, afterlife thriller Talk to Me, cryptozoological horror Carnifex, and social media slasher Sissy. That’s a pretty full slate for a genre frequently ghettoised by mainstream criticism.
But the thing is, horror is a broad church: it can encompass The Exorcist and The Evil Dead, Midsommar and An American Werewolf in London, and all points in between and beyond. Even a sub-category like Australian Horror is vast and contains multitudes, and it’s the last two films on the list that demonstrate this perfectly.