THE FURIES is another one of those horrors that promise to be the bloodiest and most terrifying yet. It isn’t. However, it does provide plenty of gruesome body horror and gore. If you want to see heads explode and arms torn off without the worries of a complicated plot and have a laugh at the expense of the actors than THE FURIES is for you.
The film was made by Australian director Tony D’Aquino and boy can you tell it’s Australian. The film is overtly camp, with cringy lines of dialogue, performed by actors who would be more settled in a melodrama than horror, even if lead actor Airlie Dodds is the best of this line-up. Dodds’ character manages to develop from startled and dependent teen to murderous and self-reliant survivor. She manages to make lines of dialogue that would be more appropriate in a sitcom sound fit in this horror, which is no easy feat. Her efforts are also a lot better than the other actors who just resort to constant screaming.
Linda Ngo’s role, for instance, comes off as unintentionally laughable and comedic. She plays a young girl who is homeschooled and lonely and she is constantly crying and hiding. However, this makes her seem younger than she obviously is – Ngo must be at least in her twenties but the character herself is played more like a 10-year-old. She is reminiscent of Isabella Fuhrman’s character in ORPHAN, with her seemingly innocent aura actually disguising the killer inside. THE FURIES plays this as an utterly serious character arc, with the pivotal moment where her character’s motivation changes being a laughable moment, rather than being one of the most powerful in the film.
The film takes advantage of the lovely, yet terrifying, Australian landscape. The setting is a forest full of tall white trees which enhances the terrifying moments of the movie, showing the gore in the daylight rather than the more typical night (which can be so frustrating with other films). Perhaps that is the one thing THE FURIES has going for it: the film is unashamedly a body horror and it will not cut away from the violence happening on screen. The film appears to be setting up a sequel and although the film may pick up a cult following, the audience interest levels in this potential follow-up are fairly questionable.
The film’s soundtrack is brilliant and something more akin to a production with a much higher budget. The soundtrack has a seemingly complete orchestra, building from loud to quiet in a spectacular way. Was it appropriate for the genre? Probably not, but it allowed for a more enjoyable and cinematic experience than simply just ambient noise interrupted by sharp spikes when the jump scares come in.
THE FURIES is reminiscent of the Sam Raimi style of splatterfest horror, with a Baz Luhrmann-esque twist of Australian camp. It’s difficult to decide if it is a good movie or not: the film is enjoyable but perhaps not in the way it was intended to be. The film obviously wants you to care and feel for these characters and to be on edge, but it works better as a semi-serious horror-comedy.