Camping is primarily a bad idea in the world of horror. There is no uptick to any of it. Sure, you and your buds or girlfriend/boyfriend are happy for the first twenty minutes of the outing but we all know what is coming.In the Texas Frightmare Weekend screening of Killing Ground, outside of the title, we know that the folks involved are gonna come face to face with some pretty harsh forces.
The film revolves around a happy couple made up of Sam (Harriet Dyer) and Ian (Ian Meadows), who head out to the lake to do some camping. When they arrive, they notice another campsite not far from their own. A sidelining story features another family on the same shore enjoying their time out with their teenage daughter and infant son. But, when two sociopathic locals begin to stalk the vacationing Aussie’s, things take a dark turn.
Aussie horror doesn’t give a fuck about your feelings. And this one is no different. The film takes these really gentle characters and then puts them through hell and makes you watch. Killing Ground has moments that are similar to instances from Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer, where you see a demented student and pupil being fueled off of each other’s desires. At times, it even has a bit of Last House On The Left shining through, with people being subjected to the tortures of the damned in hidden wooded areas.
The scariest part is that the two sociopaths, German (Aaron Pedersen) and Chook (Aaron Glenane), both seem like everyday guys at first. They room together and have some pretty funny banter between them, they own a cute pup and enjoy drinks at the pub. It is disturbing to see how quickly they are able to flip that on that side of themselves on once they are alone with their victims.
Killing Ground, gets really dark. Rape and murder are handle with nonchalance and lives are tossed out like moldy tangerines in the garbage. These two main guys do a great job of making the audience hate them too. They are bad dudes and they do some bad things.
There is this really cool thing the film does with its timelines too. They are disorienting at times, but ultimately has a reason for doing what it does. This is a genius move and is what sets this film apart from others of the sort. Unfortunately, I can’t say what it is without getting into the spoiler zone. If you give it a watch you will know what I’m talking about though.
This gives you another reason to be paranoid to go camping, and might give you an extra reason to not trust new folks around you. Killing Ground is a disturbing ride. But what it does particularly well is question our ideas of protection and safety in relationships. It leaves you with questions about people in your own life and anytime a film transcends that line, it has done something special.