Red Billabong (2016)

This is what I imagine a Home & Away Halloween special to look like…

In the Australian Outback, two brothers discover old secrets and family lies. As their friends start to go missing they fear they are being stalked by someone or something. But is it just a hoax?

Luke Sparke’s directorial debut, Red Billabong, is terrifying… Terrifying because Sparke’s has quoted he spent seven years fine tuning the script… Really? I personally think it could have been a passable film if the director cleaned up the script, chose practical effects instead of digital and made it much shorter. I mean it’s a joke that this creature feature runs for 113 minutes, at best it is an 85-minute flick.

The film is full of awkwardness and lacklustre direction, the majority of the time the actors look lost in their scenes. No doubt the cringey dialogue doesn’t help. Never have I heard in my life someone exclaim “Let’s get to the partying”.

The characters are deeply unlikeable and cliché. The females are vapid and struggle to think on their own, whilst the men are sexist and have zero redeeming features. The dog is great though.

The problem with Red Billabong is it tries to hard. If you don’t have the budget to do CGI well, don’t do it all, there is nothing wrong with choosing practical effects. Hell, I prefer it! The actual design of the monster is horrible and we see far too much of it towards the end, embarrassingly to much. Take note Mr Sparkes – less is more!

Unfortunately, the interesting indigenous folklore isn’t enough to ignore the unlikeable characters, amateur script writing and laughable CGI. The scariest moment for me was the post credit scene stating… “The Bunyip will return” … Like, can you not?

2.0 / 10

“You don’t know what’s out here. Lions and tigers and bears.” 

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