Monster Fest: The Furies (2019)

There’s a purity to slasher films that I really appreciate. Done right, there’s no fancy over-wrought narrative or rigorous backstory: just a hulking bad guy, attractive teenagers and a lot of killing.

The Furies gets it. This is the slasher premise cut down to the bone, staged in the skeletal wilderness of remote Australian bushland. Oh, there’s a mysterious, techy-Most-Dangerous-Game update – recalling the likes of Saw, Cube and even Cabin in the Woods – but the whole film is executed with such spare brutality that it never feels like a gimmick.

Setting a handful of ‘beauties’ – chief among them Kayla (Airlie Dodds) – amongst a bloodthirsty mob of Jason-esque masked murderers (the ‘beasts’), The Furies wastes no time showcasing some truly gnarly practical effects. Any slasher aficionado knows that the genre requires a memorable kill or two: the removal of a victim’s face with a dull-edged axe more than suffices. The beasts’ design is also incredible; each mask is evocative and even terrifying in a way that recalls the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre.

There’s nothing especially original about The Furies, but in an era of misjudged attempts at horror comedies or overly-serious feints at ‘elevated horror’, its purity sets it apart.

The Furies plays at Monster Fest in Brisbane on Thursday the 31st of October, and releases theatrically on November the 7th.

3.5 stars

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