Australia, here are some screams you can stream this Halloween!
Australia may be famous for its beauty, but it also has a dark and chilling side that often goes unnoticed. Down under, a thriving film industry has given birth to some of the most spine-tingling and bone-chilling horror films ever made. From eerie outback settings to haunted cityscapes, Australian filmmakers have crafted tales that are not for the faint of heart. In this article, we will delve into the depths of terror and explore the 10 best Australian horror films of all time.
So, grab your popcorn and brace yourself for a journey into the heart of Australian horror!
The Babadook, 2014
If you’re needing a horror movie to watch in this Halloween season, then sit down for a night of The Babadook. This 2014 psychological horror follows a single mother struggling to deal with her erratic six-year-old son and his fear of a top hatted monster, Mister Babadook. While initially dismissive, strange events lead her to suspecting something sinister may be going on. The debut feature for director Jennifer Kent (The Nightingale), The Babadook has become the poster child for the Australian horror movie renaissance. And it’s not hard to see why: an instantly iconic monster and wonderful performances sum up a sickening time for anyone watching.
Picnic at Hanging Rock, 1975
Adapted from one of the most famous Australian novels of all time, Picnic at Hanging Rock is a cold-stone Australian horror classic. This twisted tale goes deep into several schoolgirls who go missing during a picnic at Hanging Rock on Valentine’s Day in 1900, and what happens to the local community. A titillating mystery that will have you on the edge of your seat, sit down this Halloween for the riddle of the Picnic at Hanging Rock.
One of the first and most recognisable films in the Ozploitation genre, Patrick is a toe-curling good time. Directed by Aussie filmmaker Richard Franklin, Patrick tells the tale of a young man who, after murdering his parents, fall into a coma and taken into the care of a local hospital. Fast-forward three years, and the young nurse Kathy is now responsible for his care. Yet it seems as though Patrick may not have been as unconscious as first thought, with creepy coincidences haunting Kathy at work, and at home. This sci-fi horror mashup is the perfect trashy to watch with any scream queen this Halloween!
Wolf Creek, 2005
The outback has never been so terrifying as in Wolf Creek. Directed by Australia’s Greg McLean and released in theatres in 2005, Wolf Creek is a story about three backpackers trekking through the outback, only to be hunted and captured by a serial killer on the loose. This unrelented horror movie is not for the faint of heart, with all the blood, carnage, and violence you can squeeze into a 100-minute run-time. However, for those who are after one of the best modern Australian horror movies, start bingeing Wolf Creek.
Talk to Me, 2023
One of the most recent horror success stories to come from Australia, Talk to Me has been the talk of the town all year long. This supernatural horror movie set follows a group of teenagers who discover they can contact spirits using a mysterious embalmed hand. Yet the more they contact the beyond, the more they learn of just how much danger they are in. Delving into themes of trauma and the afterlife, Talk to Me has been a smash hit amongst critics and audiences alike. A modern classic in the making, Talk to Me is a must this spooky season!
Wake in Fright, 1971
Regarded as the start of the Australian New Wave, Wake in Fright has been scaring audiences since its release in 1971. Directed by Ted Kotcheff, Wake in Fright follows a young schoolteacher who finds himself stranded in a barbarous small town in the outback, as he slowly descends into madness. Once thought to be a lost masterpiece since the master negative had gone missing, the film has since been restored in all its original glory, allowing a new generation to be scared all over again.
1984’s Razorback proves that anything can be made into a horror film with enough passion. Written by Aussie horror legend Everett De Roche and directed by Russell Mulcahy, this outback horror movie takes you right to the front-line of a small town under attack from a giant wild boar, killing and devouring the citizens at an alarming rate. Enjoy this low-budget horror movie as the town fights back in all its camp glory this Halloween!
If you thought driving can be dangerous, you’ve seen nothing until you’ve watched Roadgames. Terrifying Australians since its release in 1981, this horror flick by director Richard Franklin takes you behind the wheel of a truck driver and hitchhiker as the track down a serial killer hunting down young women on the roads. Featuring the true final girl and scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis as the hiker, Roadgames has also the kitschy thrills and spills to get anyone terrified in 2023!
The Nightingale, 2018
Sometimes the scariest horror comes not from our imagination, but from out past. The Australian historical psychological thriller The Nightingale delves deep into Australia’s history to uncover the truths about the treatment of women and the violence of the frontier. Director Jennifer Kent’s follow-up to The Babadook, The Nightingale takes place in 1835 Van Diemen’s Land, following a young women’s quest for revenge against the people who murdered her family. Bleak, harrowing, and yet stunningly beautiful, The Nightingale is a modern horror classic that everyone should watch as soon as possible.
While not gathering the same buzz as some of its contemporaries, the 2020 thriller Relic is a true underrated horror gem. Following a mother and daughter as they search and discover their missing grandmother, only to find she is not the same person anymore. Delving into themes of family, dementia and decay, this Australian horror psychological thriller is a skin-crawlingly terrifying time at the movies.
For more of ghoulish tales, then flick on the 10 Best and Most Suspenseful Thriller Movies of All Time. And for those wanting to binge through Netflix this spooky season, then start watching the 10 Best Horror Movies to Watch on Netflix Australia Now.