REVIEW: Two Heads Creek (FrightFest 2020)
By far my favourite film of FrightFest goes to Two Heads Creek. This Ozploitation offering follows a brother and sister who leave post-Brexit Britain to search for their birth mother over in Australia. The two lead characters couldn’t be more different. Norman (Jordan Waller) is a struggling butcher working in the family shop, despite being harassed by racists on the regular due to his Polish adoptive mother. Meanwhile, his sister Annabelle (Kathryn Wilder) is a vegan drama queen actress who refuses to take nonsense from anyone.
After finding out who their birth mother is, the pair head Down Under to track her down. However, the strange town of Two Heads Creek is hiding a dark secret and they aren’t a huge fan of outsiders either. Unfortunately for Norman and Annabelle, they’re told their mother is dead which makes their journey seem a bit futile, especially since Two Heads Creek isn’t exactly number one on TripAdvisor for Australian tourism. But since they’ve come all this way, they stay for a while. Straight away, this film is absolutely hilarious. Wilder really steals the show with her over-the-top British humour and disdain for most people around her, and this might be one of the finest performances of the festival for me.
As for the residents, they’re oozing with Aussie stereotypes and hilarious visual gags. Helen Dallimore’s matriarch character of Apple is a terrifying mix of bubbly and welcoming and worryingly sinister, as we realise something isn’t right here. As well as Apple, the derelict town is populated by a close-knit community of weird and wonderful characters. Don Bridges is a riot as Uncle Morris, an elderly member of the community who speaks in strong, unintelligible slang and seems to have no problem breaking out into a rage or acts of violence if something’s bothered him. Other stand-out performances include Garry Sweet as the duo’s Germanic father, Hans who seems confused about his identity, and Madelaine Nunn as strange, slightly timid Daisy who takes a liking to the newcomers.
Violence turns out to be commonplace in Two Heads Creek, resulting in some great shocking moments and close-ups that will make you squirm. It’s a blood-soaked, hilarious ride from start to finish. In fact, Two Heads Creek has everything you could want from a film like this. There’s epic fight scenes, glorious gore, and even a laugh-out-loud musical number all about horror films. It’s completely bonkers, but that’s what makes it such an entertaining watch. I’m not usually a fan of random musical numbers but trust me, this one works. There’s also a funeral scene that might be one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen, which seems strange to say about a usually sombre occasion. But trust me on this one, it’s such a good scene and one I can’t wait to revisit.
The third act is where it really ups the ante, and you might want to avoid eating during it because it really is a sight to behold. Yet despite the atrocities, it still manages to be absolutely bloody hilarious, proving horror and comedy really are a match made in heaven. This is not a serious horror film at all, and you won’t find any massive jumpscares, but it is a delightful mix of humour, stomach-churning visual effects, and crazy characters. It’s my first Aussie horror feature film since 100 Bloody Acres, and this has made me want to seek out even more.
Two Heads Creek is a crowd-pleaser, and it’s a shame we didn’t have the opportunity to watch it on the big screen, as I’m sure it would’ve been an amazing experience. If it ever comes to a cinema near me, I’ll definitely be first in line to experience it that way.