Strangerland Joseph Fiennes Nicole Kidman

A sexually precocious 15-year-old girl and her younger brother go missing one night from a remote Outback town in tightly wound Australian mystery thriller Strangerland. Where did they go? And what secrets lie behind their disappearance?

Director Kim Farrant’s film is a little overwrought in places, dropping hints of Aboriginal mysticism that don’t really go anywhere and falling short of the eerie enigma of Picnic at Hanging Rock. But the performances keep us gripped.

Nicole Kidman and Joseph Fiennes are excellent as the children’s frantic parents; their brittle marriage ready to snap. Hugo Weaving is typically dependable as the dogged local detective. And teenage model-turned-actress Maddison Brown makes a striking feature film debut as the wayward daughter. Yet it’s the parched Outback landscape, thrumming with beauty and menace, that leaves the biggest impression.

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Certificate 15. Runtime 107 mins. Director Kim Farrant

Strangerland debuts today on Sky Cinema Premiere at 1.40pm & 9.45pm and is available on DVD from Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment.