The Furies – Australia, 2019 – Thirteen reviews plus release news

‘Stay alive or die trying’

The Furies is a 2019 Australian horror feature film written and directed by Tony D’Aquino. The movie stars Airlie Dodds, Linda Ngo, Taylor Ferguson and Ebony Vagulans.

Plot:

Rebellious high school students Kayla and her best friends Maddie are stalked and abducted by a sinister presence while out bombing their neighbourhood with graffiti. Waking up, in the woods, bound and disoriented in a claustrophobic coffin-like apparatus, Kayla’s first thought is of Maddie.

Before she has a chance to ruminate on the dreadful fate that may have befallen her friend, Kayla notices a terrifying masked man fast approaching, armed with a razor-sharp axe. As a chase ensues, it soon becomes clear that Kayla and her pursuer are not alone.

There are six more young women, each with a masked stalker assigned to them, hell-bent on murder. If that girl dies, so does the stalker – retinal cameras implanted in their eyes are unwilling players in a deadly game.

As the threat of more killer closes in, she races to save as many girls as she can. But when the girls turn on each other, Kayla’s killer instinct in unleashed and she does whatever it takes to survive and seek revenge on her abductors…

Release:

The Furies premiered at the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival on 12 April 2019. After more festival showings, it was released on the Shudder platform on October 3, 2019.

Reviews [click links to read more]:

“Director Tony D’Aquino sets out to subvert female stereotypes within genre cinema. His victims are not merely adornments or shiny objects. They are, in some way, the agents of their own fortunes. However, he’s only partially successful. And whilst there’s obviously good intentions at play, it’s an idea never fully realised or explored.” Backseat Mafia

” …an over-the-top, wholly misogynistic, assault to the senses…so much so, it actually becomes quite funny in a macabre way… when you laugh at an exploding head…it really is time to question your own sanity! Thrilling, nasty stuff!” CGiii

“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.” Cinema’s Fringes

” …it’s certainly willing to go places other films might avoid. And if you’re willing to wade through the buckets of blood, intestines, and gouged out eyeballs, underneath it all you will find a righteously angry film about a patriarchal society. Make no mistake, this is a furious film. I think it could be destined for cult status.” Entertainment Focus

“D’Aquino’s screenplay goes out of its way to establish certain rules and ideas then either contradicts them or dismisses them entirely which leaves it feeling a little mawkish and tactless. The film has its moments but they’re silver linings amidst an otherwise very incompetent, bland offering.” The Hollywood News

“There are a couple of issues with this movie, no matter how great the women are. As far as viewers are able to tell, the kidnapping of the girls is real, and they really die. But as Kayla’s seizures show us, the experience for the killers is one of VR. The logistics of how it all works are a little fuzzy, and if I think about it too much, I can’t quite make the pieces fit.” Killer Horror Critic

“As you would expect from an Ozploitation movie, it delivers on the nastiness (a face cleaved off is a rubbery effect that you won’t quickly forget) but never simply relies on gore. There’s a brain behind its brawn as it raises questions regarding how brittle our political and moral fibre can be when tested.” The Movie Waffler

” …the kills are nicely handled throughout, with D’Aquino also finding an excuse to plumb another plot point for nasty gore moments later on. On top of that, he ensures that the terror in the film doesn’t just come from the masked maniacs, but from other, less expected directions as well.” Nerdly

“The female characters are allowed to breath and develop relationships (albeit rather strangled ones) which helps enormously in carrying the film along. The Furies doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. It’s a slasher film, so it doesn’t really need to. You get on the roller coaster and take the ride, and you won’t be bored for a moment.” Quiet Earth

“While the extensive nods to a feminist through-line are admirable, they ultimately come across as mere lip service in light of the wider execution, with just one such example concerning the literal executions: the relishing in the destruction of these women’s bodies via admittedly strong practical effects jars with the messages.” SciFiNow

” …a simple but efficiently nasty little movie. The striking backdrop – trees with white trunks like bleached bones; corrugated iron shacks of a former gold prospecting town – delivers plenty of atmosphere but doesn’t distract from the real meat of the picture, the eye-gouging, skull-cleavering action.” Screen Daily

“The violence is suitably gory enough to satisfy those who can’t get enough of the likes of visceral dismemberments and brutal eviscerations, but the film has little else to recommend it. Some neat ideas are infused into the plot […] but they come off more as afterthoughts.” Starburst

“A pacy tale about kidnapped women being butchered by mutant monstrosities while sickos pay to watch online, this well-produced Ozploitation effort has the heavy-duty gore to excite horror hounds and packs enough of a girl-power punch to avoid dismissal as just another misogynist slasher movie.” Variety

Cast and characters:

  • Airlie Dodds … Kayla
  • Linda Ngo … Rose
  • Taylor Ferguson … Sheena
  • Ebony Vagulans … Maddie
  • Danielle Horvat … Jess
  • Tom O’Sullivan … Derek
  • Jessica Baker … Jackie
  • Kaitlyn Boyé … Alice
  • Harriet Davies … Sally
  • Steve Morris … RotFace & PigFace
  • Ben Toyer … SkinCrow
  • Leon Stripp … BabyFace, Owly & Killer #1
  • Dean Gould … Killer #2
  • Brendan Kelly … Control Room Operator
  • Mike Wheeler … The Professor

Filming locations:

Bywong, a historic gold mining village just outside of Australia’s capital city, Canberra.

Production companies:

  • Head Gear Films (Financed with the assistance of)
  • Kreo Films FZ (Financed with the assistance of)
  • Metrol Technology (Financed with the assistance of)
  • Odin’s Eye Entertainment (In association with)
  • The Film Distillery

Technical credits:

Aspect ratio: 2.35: 1

Trivia:

  • The working title was Killer Instinct.
  • Over one hundred litres of blood were used by the crew during the shoot.

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