Long Weekend is an edgy, horrific, and at times deeply disturbing remake of a 1978 movie that became a cult classic.
Surrounding a couple who have more than a few secrets from each other, we see them exit the city for a long weekend break that will hopefully revitalise there ailing marriage. Despite being together it’s blatantly apparent from the offset that they know very little about each other. The wonder of Long Weekend however is that it’s a story within a story, for while the initial and prolonged focus of the movie is the disintegrating marriage, the secondary story comes slowly sneaking for you jugular.
As the movie unwinds we see the movies couple played flawlessly by Jim Caziezal and Claudia Karvan committing a variety of atrocities on the Australian countryside, from the dozy destruction of a curious kangaroo, to a bush fire caused by the disposal of a cigarette butt. The clever storytelling never lets the characters see the results of there throw away actions however, well not till the end at least.
The best and most compelling issue of the movie is that its very much a two handed piece, for 99% of the movies story you are stuck with the characters of Peter and Carla, this creates and instant feeling of claustrophobia, but set in a wide open space near the sea. The longer the couple spent together in this isolation the less they like each other and the most claustrophobic the movie feels to the viewer. Its uncomfortable viewing to watch this couple so clearly once in love rubbing each other the wrong way to see the reactions of the other, and with each feud the more awful the level of hate becomes. For Peter the approaching doom is smothered by the fact that he is too blinkered by the feuds with Carla. While she is capable of seeing what’s coming, and dealing the blows against Peter equally.
The aforementioned doom comes in a variety of ways, firstly in the location they set up camp, which seems situated on a road that leads nowhere and comes from nowhere. A dark shadowy looking creature stalks Peter each time he enters the sea. From beneath the surface Even the location of fellow campers who park up at the other end of the beach provide a certain tenseness, the reveal of their situation is expected but no less disturbing. Finally the fact that each mechanical device has an assured guarantee of failing on them.
Long Weekend is a very topical piece focussing on the final realisation that the human race is destroying this beautiful planet we inhabit, and multiplying it by 100. For the darkest part of the story is that human nature treats Peter and Carla the same way they treat it. And this beautiful idyll they have retreated too seems almost certain to become their final resting place. From the moment they detour from the main road down a private road, there lives start to turn upside down. And sadly for the movies characters there seems no escape.
The biggest thing with the movie is that it is eternally evil, the characters are virtually unlikeable, the things that happen to them are un-relentless, and the things they do to each other and their surroundings are unimaginable. You can literally smell the onscreen menace, its just so incredibly dark, and the same darkness leaves the screen after watching making Long Weekend one of those movies you will find hard to forget in a hurry, it’s the sort of haunting fear that only can be felt in real life. So long after the movie ends your haunted by the things that happened in it.
If there is one criticism of the movie it falls in the treatment of the couples dog Cricket, which on numerous occasions is seemingly forgotten about. He claims to love the dog but the throwaway way its treated almost confirms the dogs doom from the minute the movie starts.