If someone asked you to name an Australian horror film your first answer would probably be Wolf Creek, perhaps followed by Snowtown or The Loved Ones. You may even have Van Diemen’s Land or the spectacular Lake Mungo popping to mind if you were an Aussie horror fan or an avid reader of our humble horror site.
Interestingly what links all of these films are there firm basis in reality, some being based on real events, some made as if they where real, but all containing brutal visceral violence and fear and characters who although many are deranged psychopaths, still remain convincing realistic.
But why shouldn’t Australia have the same trashy, ridiculous, throw-away, teenage slasher movies that the rest of the world does?
Well with 6 Plots, now they finally do.
Following a bunch of ultra annoying high school friends whose lives revolve around sexual exploits, sarcastic quips, funny internet clips and ‘who has the best phone’, their meaningless existences take a dramatic turn when 6 of the friends wake up after a wild party trapped in coffins and hidden in 6 Plots of land (get it!)
With the entombed idiots all receiving a video message on their phones from a gruesome and badly animated smiley face, they are told that there are only two rules in this sick game: ‘no parents and no authorities’ (a rule that is broken as soon as its stated with one individual and one phone call). It is left to unlovable nerd girl, Brie (Alice Darling) to work out where her friends are before time runs out.
Directed by Leigh Sheehan and penned by Tim C. Patterson, both of whom worked on Melbourne Property TV and probably cooked the idea up while bored on a lunch break, 6 Plots packs in as many trite and terrible teen slasher movie tropes as possible.
Shall we run through them all? Yes, Lets!
Firstly the god-awful music. From the clichéd opening shot of Brie riding her dirt bike to school accompanied by an ear-bleedingly bad rock song, the film is filled with the kind of terrible bland indie rock that usually pads out a US teen TV show. This tells the desensitised viewers what to feel and when by adding in the appropriate song.
In 6 Plots the literal music with its toneless voices and grating guitars is taken to a whole new level at the end with a song describing the characters emotions that may as well contain the lines “all your mates where killed by a maniac / but there’s one last twist before you turn your back.”
Second up are the clichéd characters. It is very hard to care about them in any way due to the fact that they are all so irritating. Filled with a cast of Australian teen actors who just finished work on Neighbours, the guys and girls do there best but the script is so bad that it sets them back a mile.
Numero threeo on the annoying slasher film list is 6 Plots desperate attempts at being modern. Social media horror is no new invention with the excellent Panic Button, Chatroom and May I Kill U? showing that us Brits know how to do it. Modern technology pops up in all forms in horror movies nowadays with the killer always using mobiles or hidden cameras or MySpace or something to trap their victims.
6 Plots shows off its now-ness by constantly referencing YouTube and Mac products as if it was sponsored by them, which it very obviously isn’t. A vast majority of the film involves the teens talking about how they have no credit or no signal and their battery is about to run out as if it was a public service announcement about proper mobile phone usage by Ofcom which it very obviously isn’t. Brie and her tech savvy teacher use all sorts of devices and websites to track down her imprisoned friends with the film showing so many computer screens you feel as if your attending an IT course, which your very obviously not.
Worst of all, after live streaming their debauched party (as if anyone cared) the killer broadcasts the victims on a 6 Plots site where their teen friends can vote and watch them suffer and die, all oblivious and uncaring about what’s going on. I’m sure the film thinks its making a point about the disconnection that the youth of today have with reality, but as the audience will be more than happy for the characters to be mutilated – it doesn’t really work.
Last but by no means least is the horror itself, which is severely lacking. As a reult, it’s the main criticism of 6 Plots. Although it tries to be Buried meets Saw somehow it fails to actually create any true tension or sense of peril or even offer any great gore or exciting deaths leading to utter disappointment.
Having 6 different scenarios where ‘people could be killed in different ways’ is actually kind of cool, but the film wastes its chance to offer the audience some spectacle and when the characters do get bumped off, it looks lame.
All this aside, who are we to stop Australia making terrible teen slasher films? If 6 Plots is the sort of crappy, pointless, generic horror that they want to start being known for then good luck to them. Just don’t expect anyone to watch it.