The Furies is a brutal survival horror from Tony D’Aquino. This gore shocker from Australia is a blood-pumping cat and mouse game; not for the faint-hearted which sees two young women kidnapped from their local neighborhood by a mysterious assailant.
Kayla (Airlie Dodds) wakes up in unfamiliar territory, aware that something terrible has been done to her and what’s in store promises to be much worse. With no sign of her best friend, Maddie (Ebony Vagulans); Kayla must navigate the endless forest as she is hunted by several masked maniacs thirsty for blood and carnage. Along the way she meets other women in the same predicament, begging the questions, why have they been selected, and will they band together or turn on one another in a survival of the fittest scenario?
The Furies takes the typical slasher movie concept and places an innovative spin on the sub-genre. Essentially, it’s the final girl battling her masked attacker which horror fans have seen countless times, however, D’Aquino masterfully raises the stakes to keep the audience gripped and invested in the ‘controlled’ horror environment he has created. Airlie Dodds delivers a compelling performance as Kayla.
She is both flawed and layered, she makes mistakes along the way, but we cannot help but root for her as she cleverly figures out the sick game, she has unwittingly become entangled in. The decision to make Kayla epileptic, adds to the scare factor as she is placed in a highly dangerous situation without her medication, this allows us to see a ‘final girl’ archetype who can be strong and resourceful but also vulnerable.
The film is described as ‘Halloween Meets The Hunger Games’ in its marketing, however, it shares striking similarities with The Cabin in the Woods (2011) with the idea of a manipulated environment, where the main players lack control in their situation.
When it comes to the violence and gore, The Furies takes a leaf out of Hatchet’s (2006) book, featuring some truly grizzly set pieces and eye-popping spectacles within the death sequences.
The brutality is unrelenting, reminiscent of(1974). Much like Tobe Hooper’s masterpiece the film is completely breath-catching from the get-go as the villains set out to capture their prey. The appearance of the assailants is reminiscent of the typical ‘backwoods horror’ type masks including a pig-face and a Leatherface-style mask to name a few. Their appearances are quite generic when it comes to horror movie slashers, that said, that doesn’t take away from the fact that they appear grotesque and terrifying in equal measure.
The Furies incorporates excellent camera work, experimenting with POV shots, placing the audience right through Kayla’s eyes as well as including dizzying camera angles creating a sense of disorientation, sticking the viewer slap bang into the action and the surroundings of the victims.
The sound design is incredible and doesn’t hold back on providing a visceral viewing experience, with realistic sounds of footsteps and heavy breathing, evoking the sense that there is a threatening presence close by. The death scenes are heightened by the sound design, with squelching noises bringing in an unpleasant effect.
Horror movies have always featured strong women fighting back and The Furies is no exception. It is empowering in its depiction of raw, female characters taking charge, fighting their way to survival.
A potential sleeper hit, The Furies is the kind of film that shouldn’t be judged by its cover. The poster art does suggest that it’s your average, run-of-the-mill slasher film, but it has much more to offer and overall is a highly enjoyable and effective horror flick.
We dare you to watch The Furies, screening Sunday the 25th August at Frightfest 2019 on the Cineworld Discovery Screen. Signature Entertainment presents The Furies on Digital HD 16th September 2019