Pete’s Peek | Aussie thriller Coffin Rock is the new Wolf Creek


Fusing Fatal Attraction with Cape Fear, this tense little edge-of-your-seat Aussie thriller should have been called Cradle Rock.

With her biological clock ticking away, Jess wants a kid, but her fisherman husband Rob is not so sure. Enter unhinged Irishman Evan, who wants Jess to be his and his alone. When Jess and Rob come to blows over their baby making, Evan gets his chance to have sex with a drunken Jess.

Moving swiftly into Fatal Attraction territory, Evan starts stalking Jess, when he (and the whole town) learns she has fallen pregnant. But who’s the father? Jess is too afraid to tell Rob her fears, and Rob is too afraid to find out the results of his sperm count test. Meanwhile, Evan will stop at nothing to make Jess love him.

Lisa Chappell and Rob Taylor fit comfortably in their roles as the married couple undergoing a domestic crisis, while rising star Sam Parsonson gives his all as psycho Evan – though his character is just too disturbed to sympathise with (especially when he kills a baby kangaroo).

And spare a thought for poor cocky fisherman Benny (Joseph De Re). Watching him get beaten up, burnt, poked in the eye and thrown off a cliff had me feeling very sorry for him by the end of the movie.

Thumbs up to the newly formed Screen Australia in supporting emerging talent like first-time director Rupert Glasson, and giving David Lightfoot the chance to show off his producing skills once again. Lightfoot successfully oversaw the 2005 chiller Wolf Creek – despite it being rejected by ScreenWest, Western Australia’s impotent film funding body.

For film fans that like solid story telling with a good scare, Coffin Rock is a very grown-up thriller from such a young director – and it’s nice to see the dark side of Oz for a change.

Catch the World Premiere at Film4’s FrightFest in London on Sunday 30 August.

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