Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Beauties and Beasts: The Furies (2019)

The Furies (Australia/United Arab Emirates, 2019) (AKA "Killer Instinct")
Rating: **1/2
Starring: Airlie Dodds, Linda Ngo, Taylor Ferguson

Kidnapped and let loose in the middle of nowhere, Kayla finds herself in a sinister survival game where girls are hunted down by a group of masked killers, with the resulting carnage getting broadcast for the viewing pleasure of shadowy patrons. As she attempts to make her way to save a fellow kidnapped friend as well as stay alive herself, Kayla will soon understand that the game's rules are about to get as macabre as the fiends prowling around and that the line between friend and foe isn't as black-and-white as she expected.

The Furies (2019), for a good chunk of it, is pure eye candy for gorehounds and slasher fans as apart from delivering some credible backwoods stalk-and-stab fun that often leads to a gloriously gory murder scene done wholesomely in practical effects, there's also a sweet slice of ghastliness given to the designs of the plentiful killers featured here, ranging from the ghoulishly simple to the ridiculously creative. (Skincrow and Rotface for the win, baby! Dirty Ken can have a honorable mention, too!) The twist of this whole shebang being a death game, however, complicate matters as it added elements to The Furies (2019)'s otherwise simplistic survival horror route, deconstructing it into something both unique and frustrating.

On one end, it is nice to see something different being done to what could have been another backwoods bodycounter, even if said difference is nothing new with movies like $LA$HER$ (2001) and Paintball (2007) already bagging have the whole "we kill people for sport and viewers" thing within the slasher subgenre. (Among many, I assume) The game's rules did give our characters an interesting strategy to survive, doubling as a source of drama and conflict that eventually blurs the line between allies and monsters. Sadly, the story's deconstructive writing couldn't pick whether it wanted to be serious or outrageously exploitative, so it hardly elevated its tone and characters from more than one to two notes, thus making it hard to genuinely root for anyone (Save for Airlie Dodds, who did her most to make a sympathetic final girl out of Kayla) and the attempted seriousness forced upon us just feels laughable.

For its worth, The Furies (2019) is mercifully quick in pacing and it at least looks capable with the rest of its production past the gore effects; the abandoned gold mine oasis in the middle of a desert is a nice backdrop that we don't often see used around slasher flicks, captured and implemented well enough through a competent camera work. Its expressively booming score may have the tendency to sound a wee bit cartoonish at times, but it works quite alright with the cheesier parts of the movie. All in all, if you can look beyond the lackluster world building and satire, this is a film one can well enjoy for its silliness and strong showcase of gore given they don't mind their slashers lean and swift.

1 male eviscerated with a scythe
1 female had her face sliced off with an axe
1 female had her arms torn off
1 male had his head explode
1 female hacked on the neck with a machete
1 male impaled with a screw
1 female had her head hacked in half
1 male had his head explode
1 male axed on the chest
1 female had her throat cut
1 male had his head explode
1 male tortured with a hunting knife, killed
Total: 12


  1. Sounds pretty good. I'm hoping to check this one out in the future.