‘Snowtown’ Becomes ‘The Snowtown Murders’ With First Trailer

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Daniel Henshall in Snowtown
Photo: IFC Midnight

Last year at the Cannes Film Festival I saw a film out of Australia called Snowtown, which centered on the true story of John Bunting (Daniel Henshall), Australia’s most notorious serial killer, and how he manipulated a 16-year-old boy (Lucas Pittaway) into collaborating on a heinous series of crimes. There has been a trailer for the film ever since it was picked up by IFC Midnight for domestic distribution, but now we have the first official domestic trailer to watch and it appears they decided to go with The Snowtown Murders here in the States.

Beyond the film’s quality, the most notable talking point out of Cannes last year was the number of walkouts that tended to take place at each screening. This is the reason you see IFC releasing it through their Midnight label. The walkouts were largely due to the graphic violence, but as I noted in my review:

My assumption is viewers were walking out of Snowtown due to its realism. This isn’t a desaturated and glossy Hollywood feature, it’s a down in the dirt white-knuckler and that can tend to churn an audience member’s cookies a bit more than today’s run-of-the-mill CG blood splatter features. Even still, it shocks me to see audience members sit through a scene where three young boys are photographed in their underwear and another where Jaimie is raped by his half-brother only to begin walking out when a dog is shot offscreen, followed by a mass exodus when a toenail is visibly removed with a pair of pliers. Yeah, animal cruelty isn’t fun, but isn’t it curious what audiences have managed to numb themselves to compared to what they won’t stand for? It’s a wonder why the MPAA isn’t harder on violence the same way it is sex.

You can read my full review out of the festival (where the film won the Special Jury Prize from the Critics Week selection) right here and the film is set to hit theaters on March 2.