Cinematic Releases: Killing Ground (2017) - Reviewed

2017 just got a whole lot nastier. Killing Ground is here as another reminder that regular humans are way more scary than franchise serial killers and immortal beings that keep coming back for sequel after sequel. Set in our very own reality, two men set a disturbing course for vile acts and a series of terrifyingly cold murders.

Haven't humans learned by now? You don't go into the woods and expect to not be maimed, killed, or raped. Like a new spin on 2008's Eden Lake, the vacation ritual once again turns into a visceral tale of human pain and suffering. What should have been a peaceful weekend of lakeside camping is transformed into a blood soaked cat and mouse game infused with perversity by a pair of backwoods rednecks with no moral compass whatsoever. Mixing decades old themes of I Spit On Your Grave and Deliverance into another cold blooded tale of death, director Damien Power brings a level of fear that's palpable.

Australia always does it right. For years now, the land down under has been churning out a solid stream of great horror films. From Wolf Creek to The Loved Ones to this year's release of Killing Ground, there's just something they get about producing edge of your seat genre films that rely heavily on tension, strong characters, and brooding violence that's painful to watch. While this latest movie uses many standard tropes like neverending chase scenes and the age old wooded setting, it definitely skims the surface of man's inherent evil and how easily things can slide off the rails into unbridled mayhem. 

Nobody better touch my baby! 

Directed with near perfection and acted with total emotional decay, Killing Ground has a take no prisoners attitude as it spins further and further out of control. As a merging of great acting talent and hyper realism, Power brings the good old days back to his chosen palette. Using a dual timeline that never gets confusing, his picture stays focused on always being ahead of the game by skipping contrivances. This is steady film making that plays all its cards right by maintaining a momentum that feels fresh when most horror entries are still stuck trying to create the next best franchise. 

Sometimes we need to fall back on what's worked in the past. Killing Ground does just that. Audiences will be able to predict many plot points. However, it still remains a hardcore reminder of the way things used to be. Stalkings and death are a dish best served cold. Power's movie is a platter full of the exact thing most fans are looking for these days: a return to form.