Directed by: Ben Young
Starring: Emma Booth (Evelyn), Stephen Curry (John), Ashleigh Cummings (Vicki), Susie Porter (Mother)
Country: Australia; Effed Up Australian-NZ Cinema
Language: English (Optional Eng Subs)
Genres: Based on a True Story, Serial Killers, Captivity-Kidnapping, Teenager, Sexual-Violence against Women, Old-Young
Plot – Spoilers:
The opening scene gazes leeringly at the flesh of high-school girls. Someone’s watching. A couple actually.
Evelyn lures the girls home, dousing their suspicions with her feminine presence, and later assists her partner John, in the sexual torture. She’s clued in to John’s specific needs – whether it’s lining up slices of bread to go with his habit of lining up stubs in an ashtray, or ensuring the general cleanliness of the girls who often end up pissing or shitting themselves.
Hounds of Love is roughly based on the Australian serial-killing couple, David and Catherine Birnie, but portrays the female killer more sympathetically here, unlike in the real case. It also doesn’t get too much into the violence, instead choosing to focus on the complicated relationship between the couple. But because it’s a pretty well-made film with good performances especially by Emma Booth, the violence though often alluded to, is tangible. There’s also a beautiful scene capturing dark sexual excitement, set against Nights in White Satin.
If you harm another person because it pleases your loved one or is the one thing that can keep the two of you connected or if you simply do it because it’s rooted in plain old jealousy, how different is that from a killer who kills because it’s the only thing that fills the emptiness.