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SA on screen: embrace the spooky season with some SA made viewing
27 October 2023
With Halloween just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to sink your teeth into some SA made and SAFC supported horrors, thrillers and otherworldly delights currently streaming or in cinemas. We’ve compiled a list of some of our favourites made in the past decade (and a couple that might be little beyond that). Check them out now!
Talk to Me, the debut feature film from SA’s Danny and Michael Philippou is this year’s undisputed runaway hit – and you can still catch it on the big screen in select theatres or stream it on Apple TV, Google Play and Prime. Filmed in Adelaide, and supported by the SAFC and Adelaide Film Festival, the horror follows a group of friends who discover how to conjure spirits using an embalmed hand and become hooked on the new thrill, until one of them goes too far and unleashes terrifying supernatural forces. Talk To Me has become an international sensation, recently passing $90 million gross in the worldwide box office.
Scarygirl is the brainchild of SA artist Nathan Jurevicius, and written by Jurevicius and SA writers Craig Behenna and Matt Everitt with development support from the SAFC. This adventurous Australian animation has just landed in cinemas and it’s the perfect Halloween treat for the whole family! Starring Tim Minchin, Deborah Mailman and Sam Neill, Scarygirl pits free spirited Arkie against evil scientist Dr Maybee, who will stop at no cost to discover the key to immortality.
Psychological thriller Run Rabbit Run stars Sarah Snook as a fertility doctor whose grasp on the cycle of life is put to the test when her young daughter Mia, played by newcomer Lily LaTorre, begins to exhibit increasingly strange behaviour. Written by SA writer Hannah Kent and filmed in SA’s Riverland region and in Victoria, the Daina Reid directed feature enjoyed chart success in Netflix’s global Top 10 following its initial release.
Filmed in the Adelaide Hills, creature feature Carnifex brings eco horror to our backyard. Directed by SA director Sean Lahiff and produced by SA’s Helen Leake and Gena Ashwell of Dancing Road Productions, this thriller about a terrifying new species of animal hunting a group of researchers in the Australian bush has been selected for festivals all over the world, including the 2022 Sitges Film Festival, Adelaide Film Festival 2022 and more recently the 2023 Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival in California.
A uniquely Australian take on vampire mythology, you can binge all eight episodes of Warwick Thornton‘s First Nations vampire hunting series Firebite on SBS on Demand. Filmed in Coober Pedy and produced by SA’s Paul Ranford, Firebite follows Tyson (Rob Collins) and Shanika (SA’s Shantae Barnes-Cowan) on their quest to battle the last colony of vampires in Australia.
Shot in SA, I Am Mother tells a post-apocalyptic tale of a lonely teenage girl ‘Daughter’, who is the first of a new generation of humans raised by ‘Mother’. A blood soaked Hilary Swank shows up to throw everything into question. Co-produced by SA’s Anna Vincent, the sci fi thriller had its world premiere at Sundance Film Festival and was quickly snapped up by Netflix.
You won’t be able to sleep either after Awoken. South Australian writer/director/producer Daniel J. Phillips’ debut follows a young medical student trying to cure her brother from Fatal Familial Insomnia – a terminal illness where you are unable to sleep until you die. Shot in Adelaide and with PDV provided by SA’s Anomaly Pictures, this is a true local affair.
Post-apocalyptic horror Cargo stars Martin Freeman as a father stranded in rural Australia during a violent pandemic with 48 hours to find a new home for his one-year-old daughter after being infected. Shot in South Australia, including the Flinders Ranges and the Murray River, the Ben Howling and Yolanda Ramke film was well received by critics, including Variety, The Guardian, indieWire and Hollywood Reporter.
Writer/director Luke Shanahan’s debut film Rabbit is a psychological thriller shot in Adelaide, produced by SA producers David Ngo and Daniel Joyce of Projector Films. Almost a year after her identical twin disappears, 25-year-old medical student Maude Ashton is haunted by visions of her abduction. Convinced she is still alive, Maude follows the clues to a derelict caravan park where she discovers her fate is intrinsically linked to that of her sister.
An undeniable classic – you can’t get rid of The Babadook. Produced by Kristina Ceyton of Causeway Films and SA producer Kristian Moliere of Triptych Pictures, the film follows a single mother and her child, who fall into a deep well of paranoia when an eerie children’s book titled “Mister Babadook” manifests in their home. Jennifer Kent’s much loved debut feature was filmed in SA and at the SAFC’s Adelaide Studios and still boasts a 98% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Inner Demon comes out of the SAFC’s original Film Lab initiative, showcasing an all-SA key creative team: writer/director Ursula Dabrowsky, producer Sue Brown and co-producer Julie Byrne. Influenced by horror films dubbed the “New French Extremity”, the abduction thriller turned supernatural revenge film follows a young teenage girl, the victim of a brutal assault, who unknowingly finds refuge in the house of her attackers, only to discover it is also home to a malevolent spirit.
It’s not quite from the past decade, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t include cult classic 100 Bloody Acres, the debut feature of brothers Colin and Cameron Cairnes, whose latest film Late Night With The Devil just picked up best screenplay award at Sitges. From SA producers Julie Ryan of Cyan Films and Kate Croser, the black comedy follows brothers who are looking for a fresh supply of their “secret ingredient” to process through the meat grinder for their organic fertiliser business.
The original Wolf Creek is definitely more than a decade old, but Greg McLean’s iconic Outback horror has not only been credited with initiating a “boom” of Australian horror films, it has also spawned a sequel and two seasons of a spin off TV series – all made in South Australia, and all now streaming on Stan.
Want more? Check out our SA Made Showcase which lists feature films, television series, short films and documentary productions filmed, produced and/or post-produced in South Australia since 1975, as well as South Australian made video games.