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Category: Horror News

THE NEW ZEALAND LOCALS

Steven Davies Posted: 3 October, 2003 at 01:40 PM GMT
Author: Steven Davies

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THE NEW ZEALAND LOCALS

NarniaKid over at Aint It Cool News got to see a new horror from New Zealand the other day called, 'The Locals'...read his praises below...

'I had to share with you one of the better movie experiences I've had in a long time. Have just walked out of 'The Locals' from first time Kiwi Director/Writer Greg Page who's cut his teeth on music video's and commercials. It was great to see a movie theatre showing a NZ film that was packed at a lunch time on a Friday (yep, I took a 'long client lunch' to see this on its second day of release). And nobody was dissapointed - this film is an anomoly; something I had given up on seeing a long time ago: this is bloody scary horror film with damn fine story. This is no slasher film when you're just waiting for the next death and you can't differentiate one from another. This is something that almost should not be classed as a horror as the nearly presupposes that it can't be intelligent these days. I guess I would compare to Sixth Sense in that way - nearly genre defying.

Even the opening scenes manage to creep me out. This is sweeping shot of the countryside I live in draped in a sense of dread thanks to a very effective score. These are the remote farmlands we all drive through when we go skiing, or to a holiday batch or as we travel from one city to the next. Greg Page has recognised that these places can be as creepy as hell when the light is fading or when you realise that suddenly your the only car on the road for miles...the rusted old truck sitting in the middle of a paddock, a shack falling to pieces, dark and empty, overgrown, the unkempt country cemetary. You see all of these things in the first minutes of the films and they are like characters that are all as crucial to the story as the people.

The film revolves around 2 teen/twenty something guys who are everyman. This is what made the movie great for me. These guys just so reminded me of myself and my mates. You don't know what they DO and you don't really know about their lives up till this moment but it so doesn't matter - after one scene of beautifully realistic dialogue between these two 'blokes' you know exactly who they are - they are you and me. And they are undeniably best friends.

One has just been dumped so the other decides what could be better to fix a broken heart than a surfing trip to the beach. A bit of booze, a long road trip and hopefully girls ofcourse. Night falls and you don't see sunlight again for the rest of this film. The movie was virtually at night too with clever discrete light being used - nothing more annoying than a night scene thats obviously been filmed at day and this movie annoys that fantastically. And as the budget was $2 million there was clearly a large element of ingenuity that was used too.

As always it is the obligatory short cut that leads these guys into trouble and oh yeah, a couple of really gorgeous girls that invite/challenge them to follow them to a party...if they can keep up. This is where the movie changes gear and the scares come thick and fast.

To say too much more would spoil the film. As stated before this movie has one thing going for it that so many others don't. An ORIGINAL, clever, unpredictable story and like all good stories, the more you more you know about it before going in the risk of losing some of the enjoyment. But I will say that there were several times when everyone in the theatre laughed their asses off, several times they jumped out of their seats and (check this out for a horror movie) several tears were shed before the credits rolled. I really wanted this movie to be good as I love it when NZ directors do well and so I was sitting there grinning thinking 'Yeah, good movie, good movie, that was a clever part, good movie...' and then WHAM, it kicks you in the face and leaves you stinging so that you walk out the theatre like one of the zombies that trouble the lads (did I say zombie...ok, small spoiler there). So many movies are let down by endings that fall short of the build up that preceeded them but this film takes a stomach dropping plot twist that leaves you singing the movies praises.'

Courtesy of Aint It Cool News

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Steven Davies Posted: 3 October, 2003 at 01:40 PM GMT
Author: Steven Davies

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