Killing Ground

By Angie Raphael

3.5 stars 

If you ignored TLC when they sang the lyrics “Don't go chasing waterfalls”, perhaps you will heed the warning from writer/director Damien Power, whose first full-length feature Killing Ground is absolutely chilling to watch. It may not be the most original story, but this Australian film expertly plays up the idea of having a tranquil and isolated place turned into a creepy and dangerous situation. The story is told in a non-linear way, which adds some intensity as the sub-plots build and finally merge. Young couple Ian (Ian Meadows) and Sam (Harriet Dyer) are going camping. When they arrive at their destination, they find another tent already set up but no sign of its owners until they find a toddler wandering alone, which sets off a chain of harrowing events. What makes this film so unnerving is that the concept is plausible and it is not something many Aussies want to think about. The cast is solid but the villains, played by Aaron Pederson and Aaron Gelnane, are especially impressive. It is also great to see Sam being strong rather than a damsel in distress. One thing is certain – Power does suspense well.