Long Weekend [Blu-ray]
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Attempting to resurrect their failing marriage, Peter (John Hargreaves, THE ODD ANGRY SHOT) and Marcia (Briony Behets) set out on a camping trip to a deserted stretch of the Australian coastline hoping a long weekend in the sunshine will help them patch their differences. They are a careless couple, littering the countryside with garbage, shooting guns and even driving away after wounding a kangaroo with their automobile. Their callous disregard for the environment soon becomes apparent when the animals start to seek vengeance. Marcia and Peter have proven themselves to be destroyers of nature. Will the animals allow them to leave or will they too be destroyed?
From the writer of ROAD GAMES and RAZORBACK comes this spooky little gem (Premiere Magazine), presented in a high-definition transfer from original vault materials with a re-mastered DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround soundtrack created by Synapse Films.
- Audio Commentary from Producer Richard Brennan and Cinematographer Vincent Monton
- Motion Still Gallery Featuring an Audio Interview with Actor John Hargreaves
- Theatrical Trailer
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Top Customer Reviews
The action in the film is cleverly staged, as the trip seems harmless enough to begin with, but cleverly, the couple's plight deepens very gradually. Actually, it's suggested in several key sequences that they are in fact to blame for nature's retaliation - they drop litter, kill and squash small creatures, even hit a kangaroo with their car. But the real reason for the apparent revenge taken by the wilderness surrounding them remains unclear right through until the end of the film.
But there are intriguing hints and clues. From the start, lots of small things seem slightly wrong, and as the couple prepare to depart for their holiday, news reports are heard of animals behaving oddly, which seems like a bad omen right away. I won't go into what actually happens to the two hapless leads, because, for one thing, when written on paper they sound pretty unimpressive. The film's strength is it's ability to make you uneasy at the seemingly random events unfolding, and to add a sinister undertone to the slightest odd occurence. Handled the wrong way, this story could have turned out completely flat, but director Colin Eggleston, together with the two leads, manage to build an atmosphere of superb, bewildering suspense.
Although superbly written, acted and directed, the movie is completely low key almost throughout. I find this a particular skill of good Australian cinema, this ability to stir you without really doing anything explosive or exaggerated onscreen. It's a trait that's also apparent in the gorgeous "Picnic At Hanging Rock" , which has a similar air of mystery and the unexplained about it. However, unlike that movie, "Long Weekend" does have more of a sense of closure - with a powerful ending. It's a film that will definitely linger in your mind.
This is the kind of film that starts off so-so, gets you wondering "Where is this movie taking me?", and all of a sudden you're sucked in by the atmosphere of it and wondering, "How is this going to end?" The movie centers on a married couple (basically the only two characters in the movie) and their camping trip in the Outback to help get the stress out of their marriage. Their weekend does not evolve the way they planned.
It's all about the journey in watching this movie so don't let anyone spoil a single scene. By the halfway point when they're driving along the beach you'll be on the edge of your seat.
The DVD also contains a few extras including a decent commentary track that reveals a bit from the film-makers on how they delivered "the goods".
The closest thing I can compare it to from recent American cinema is The Blair Witch Project. That's the kind of horror and atmosphere you'll be getting with this movie. If you're looking for jump out of your seat screams, this isn't the movie for you. But, if you're the kind of person who enjoys a good creepy film that crawls up your spine...then I recommend Long Weekend.
LONG WEEKEND centres on a couple who are at a bad point in their relationship - constant bickering, arguing, fighting. A chance to get away camping over a long weekend is surely the cure to their problems? No. It just adds to them. The movie cleverley uses the surrounding elements to create a very eeery atmosphere. The tension slowly builds to a climax that you will never see coming.
This forgotten Aussie classic was released last year on DVD in Australia with a few extras. It's now available on DVD in USA too. A movie worth adding to your collection - a snapshot of camping trips to the Aussie coast in the 70's. Well worth a look.
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