Director – Jamie Blanks
Cast – Nadia Farès, Robert Taylor, David Lyons, Mathew Wilkinson, John Brumpton, Johnathan Oldham, Puss
Release Year – 2007
Reviewed by John of the Dead
Storm Warning had been on my queue for a pretty long time, partly because I completely forgot about the film, and also because my queue takes longer to read through than Stephen King’s “The Stand”. After finally getting to this Aussie effort distributed by Dimension Extreme, who I usually find favor in, I am glad to say that Storm Warning is one film that I regret letting get away from me for so long. The story is nothing new, but the horror is intense, non-stop, and consists of some of the coolest kill sequences I have seen in a long time thanks to no-holds-barred direction.
When married couple Rob and Pia embark on a short boating journey off the coast of Australia, their high hopes of adventure and relaxation turn to panic when they find themselves stranded in a marsh covered in heavy brush and experiencing heavy rainfall. Desperate for help, they make their way into a decrepit farmhouse in hopes of finding someone who will lend them a phone, but instead they find a trio of sadistic farmers who see the intruding couple as their newest source of torturous entertainment.
Going into this piece I figured I would leave with a positive experience due to the good reviews I read beforehand, but I had no idea that I would enjoy this one as much as I did. Things start off a bit bland and may have you thinking “OK, how is this going to be good?”, but once Rob and Pia make it to the marsh and the rain begins to pour we are given non-stop horror from then on out, and GOOD horror too. I enjoyed the “backwoods” horror theme of using a group of crazy Australian rednecks to maniacally torment our two protagonists, who unsurprisingly are of the non-confrontational variety and without weaponry are at bay to their captors. The torment the rednecks put on them is awesome, and to my enjoyment was not so much physical torment but more emotional and psychological torment, which was a break from the usual modern day backwoods killer films like Eden Lake, which I did enjoy as well. While the torment brought on Rob and Pia was great, they eventually got wise and used some pretty sweet ingenuity to provide torment of their own and turn the tables on their attackers, which included some insanely awesome gore sequences had me smiling about as much as I could. I will admit that the booby-trap scene in the barn was a bit far-fetched and cheezy given Pia, who completed most of the trap, seemingly had no prior knowledge of how to build such a deathly contraption. She claimed her profession as being an artist, so I suppose it is possible that she had a background in building baroque objects out of scrap which lead to her building the awesome device, but regardless the scene was incredible, and that is what matters. Now, the “vagitrap” scene was one that I (and most likely 90% of all other viewers) saw coming long before the scene commenced, but that did not detract from how heavy-hitting and awesome it was, making for the best sequence the film had to offer.
Director Jamie Blanks (Urban Legend, Valentine) did a fantastic job executing this film, starting with awesome atmosphere that set the dark and gloomy tone that the story would take and use to full potential. The sets were fantastic and used to provide the visual essence of the awesome horror brought before us, and Blanks’ execution of the horror gave us a full-frontal approach to it that resulted in some of the best gore sequences I have seen in a long while. It really is a shame that this Ozploitation effort has slipped under the radar for so long given how much awesome horror it has to offer, but that only made the experience all-the-more enjoyable for me and will most certainly do the same for you.
Overall, Storm Warning is a great Australian horror effort that gives us a somewhat unique take on the “backwoods” killer sub-genre and gives us some insanely awesome kill sequences to marvel at. The story is a simple one, but the writing and direction execution make for one of the most enjoyable horror experiences I have faced in recent time, and I gladly recommend this to all those who love horror films that give a bloody good time, literally.