Vicki Maloney is randomly abducted from a suburban street by a disturbed couple. As she observes the dynamic between her captors she quickly realises she must drive a wedge between them if she is to survive.
This film is not currently playing on MUBI but 30 other great films are. See what’s now showing
Although most, if not all, violence is offscreen, Hounds of Love is often unwatchable as both its subject matter and execution reach the same perversity of other recent thrillers from Australia, e.g. Snowtown and Wolf Creek. Aside from a gimmicky coup, the plot is cleverly assembled. The viewing experience is harrowing, tense, and suspenseful. Now brace yourself for the inevitable, diluted, redundant American remake.
Despite some well done early parts in which it uses a PC song during disturbing scenes to create an off-kilter contrast, making the scene creepy and tonally abnormal, Hounds of Love's plot falls into typical hostage mechanics longer than its first hour, with the unique logline of the captive wedging conflict between her captors sadly a bait-and-switch until it finally rears its head. But by then it's mostly too late.
Realistically it's a 2 for the plotting -cryptogram device, stupid cops, the final scene, etc.- but I'm giving it a 3 because despite all that, it's disturbing and exciting, it characterizes the 'villains' as complicated and weak rather than just evil, and I liked how it was shot -like a series of Jeff Wall photos come to life. Also, girl can scream like nobody's business.
i can't understand the love. although it doesn't fall completely into the torture porn category this film isn't as smart of subversive as it thinks it is. it doesn't lay deep into the psychological as much as i hoped which makes it all utterly unconvincing.
Well executed and uncomfortable serial killer portrait based loosely on the infamous Birnie couple who abducted, raped and killed a number of young women in Perth in the 1980's. Fantastic cast, authentic design, score and cinematography. Kudos for exploring the seductive character qualities but I do wish he'd gone further into the psychology of John as the final flip feels not completely convincing. 3.5 stars
What struck me the most about this Australian flick was its amazing sound design, cool cinematography and a stellar performance by Emma Booth. The twisted relationship between the leading couple is peeled away throughout the film, revealing something more complex that what are is initially perceived. I had a great time watching this, very tense, very unpredictable.
Certainly not breaking any new ground, in fact it is typical to a fault - though tepid and timid, this is a competently crafted and modest arthouse horror. There are some compelling drama and quirky decisions peppered throughout that make us feel the film will take a different route that others - even though it doesn't. Worth the time, but not essential.