The Snowtown Murders

Watch The Snowtown Murders

"Australia's most infamous crime story"
  • NR
  • 2011
  • 1 hr 59 min
  • 6.6  (20,463)
  • 66

The Snowtown Murders from 2011 is a disturbing true crime movie that tells the story of the gruesome murders that took place in the small town of Snowtown, Australia, in the 1990s. The film follows Jamie (Lucas Pittaway), a teenage boy who lives with his mother and two younger brothers in a poor suburb of Adelaide. Jamie's life is bleak: his mother is an abusive alcoholic, and he is constantly being bullied at school. One day, he meets John Bunting (Daniel Henshall), a charismatic older man who takes a liking to him and offers to be his friend and mentor.

At first, Jamie is grateful for John's attention and the sense of community he brings to his life. John introduces Jamie to his group of friends, who all share his extreme right-wing beliefs and hatred for pedophiles and homosexuals. As the group grows closer, Jamie starts to see a darker side to his new friends. They begin to talk about "cleaning up" the town, taking matters into their own hands and punishing those they believe are guilty of immoral acts. At first, they target a local pedophile who has been preying on young boys. Jamie is roped into helping them lure the man to a house, where they torture and murder him.

As the group's killings become more frequent, Jamie starts to feel increasingly uncomfortable with what they are doing. He tries to pull away from John and his friends, but they threaten him and his family, warning him that anyone who betrays them will meet the same fate as their victims. Jamie becomes trapped in a cycle of violence and fear, unable to escape the grip of a man he once thought was his friend.

The Snowtown Murders is a difficult watch, as it depicts the brutal murders of at least 12 people, most of whom were innocent victims targeted simply for being seen as morally suspect. However, the movie does not glorify the killers or sensationalize their crimes. Instead, it portrays them as deeply disturbed individuals who are driven by a toxic mix of fear, hatred, and a desire for control. The film is also a powerful exploration of how trauma and abuse can make people vulnerable to manipulation and exploitation by charismatic predators like John Bunting.

The acting in The Snowtown Murders is excellent, particularly from Lucas Pittaway, who gives a hauntingly understated performance as the troubled Jamie. Daniel Henshall is also outstanding as John Bunting, balancing his charming facade with a chilling sense of menace. The supporting cast is strong as well, particularly Louise Harris as Elizabeth, Jamie's mother, who delivers a gut-wrenching portrayal of a woman drowning in alcoholism and despair.

The direction by Justin Kurzel is also noteworthy, as he uses a combination of handheld camerawork, surreal dream sequences, and starkly framed shots to create an atmosphere of claustrophobia and dread. The movie's score, by Jed Kurzel, is similarly effective, using minimalist strings and eerie sound effects to heighten the tension.

The Snowtown Murders is not a movie for everyone, as it contains graphic depictions of violence and child abuse. However, for those who can stomach its disturbing content, it is a well-crafted, thought-provoking film that offers a powerful commentary on the human capacity for cruelty and the dangers of groupthink.

The Snowtown Murders is a 2011 crime movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 59 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.6 and a MetaScore of 66.

The Snowtown Murders
Where to Watch The Snowtown Murders
The Snowtown Murders is available to watch free on Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, The Roku Channel, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and YouTube VOD. Some platforms allow you to rent The Snowtown Murders for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 59 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.6  (20,463)
  • Metascore