FILM: Snowtown (18)

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Justin Kurzel’s feature directorial debut is a stylish but deeply unsettling thriller based on an infamous case of serial murder that shocked Australia.

The story concerns John Justin Bunting, who tortured and killed 10 men and women between 1992 and 1999 with his accomplice Robert Joe Wagner.

Kurzel’s brutal and uncompromising film unfolds through the eyes of disenfranchised teenager James Vlassakis (Lucas Pittaway), who is abused and suffers horribly at the hands of his half-brother.

Bunting (Daniel Henshall) begins to co-habit with James’s mother and takes up the mantle of surrogate father to the troubled lad.

The killer gradually draws in James to his twisted, sick world of death and humiliation, and James is groomed for murder, actively participating in a number of the senseless killings.

Snowtown is not for the faint of heart or easily offended: the film includes a protracted and graphic torture sequence as well as shocking scenes of animal cruelty.

Released: November 18 (UK, selected cinemas), 120 mins