Two Heads Creek, 2019.
Directed by Jesse O’ Brien.
Starring Jordan Waller, Kathryn Wilder, Garry Sweet, Hellen Dallimore, and Kerry Armstrong.
Two estranged siblings travel to a remote town in Australia in search of their biological mother, but what they discover is that there’s more to the townsfolk that meets the eye…
The premise of Two Heads Creek is one that we’ve seen countless times before. An urban family on vacation stumbling across rural townsfolk with deviant ‘inclinations’ leading to disastrous consequences isn’t something new, but the decision to transform these all-too-familiar story beats into a horror-comedy is what makes this outing refreshing. The strength of a successful horror-comedy lies in its innate ability to poke fun at horror tropes in ingenious ways and demonstrate how utterly ridiculous these genre films actually are, to the audience. And for the most part Two Heads Creek succeeds in this regard, but there are a few occasions where it does stumble with the comedic elements of the story and its overall pacing. That being said, there’s still a lot to like in this weird little indie horror-flick.
Actor Jordan Waller who also conceived the script for the film plays the role of a timid butcher working in a hand-me-down Polish meat shop, inherited from his mother. He gets riled and ridiculed on a daily basis by the locals, but the poor chap daren’t respond, fearing the aggressive reprisals his act of defiance would follow. Usually these ‘reprisals’ involve being hurled with verbal abuse and fresh dog-turds by little kids, but still, he chooses not to revolt, instead relegating himself to being trampled upon by strangers. His sister played by Kathryn Wilder however is the polar opposite, being both outgoing and fearless, despite her failure as a commercial actress. Together they stumble upon a secret that have been hidden from them by their mother-that they are actually adopted children of Australian origin. Soon they embark on a journey of self-discovery to the land Down Under, and a remote town called Two Heads Creek, in search of their birth-mother.
Both Waller and Wilder shine in their respective roles, breathing life to their characters in convincing fashion as the two estranged siblings. They are instantaneously likeable and have great chemistry with each other from start to finish. Apart from the two leads the other standout performances are courtesy of Hellen Dallimore as their mad-hatter biological mother and Garry Sweet as their long-forgotten Germanic father. Dallimore steals every scene she is with her manic performance and truly revs things up in the third act, when shit goes down and all hell inevitably breaks loose! So, performances wise the film does quite well, but where it unfortunately drops the ball is with its comedic elements involving painfully unfunny jokes and their ill-timed delivery. Thankfully these moments are few and far between but it does serve as a bit of a detractor. The narrative’s pacing is also rather uneven with the first two-thirds of the film plodding along at a slow pace, and the gore-filled third act moving at a frantic speed. And believe me when I say, the third act is ‘gore-filled’! There’s no shortage of inventive onscreen deaths and laugh-out-loud moments within that adrenaline fueling final half hour.
Two Heads Creek doesn’t break new ground as a genre film, but it does offer up some genuine laughs and a blood soaked third act, that is sure to satisfy even the most hardcore horror-film aficionados and gore hounds.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★
Hasitha Fernando is a part-time medical practitioner and full-time cinephile. Follow him on Twitter via @DoctorCinephile for regular updates on the world of entertainment.