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Thursday, June 18, 2020

Review: Two Heads Creek

Director: Jesse O’Brien
Screenplay: Jordan Waller
Year: 2020

After the death of their adopted mother, a shy butcher and his sister decide to head over to Australia to search for their biological mother. This takes them to Two Heads Creek, a small rural town that seems to have been stuck in time. What seems like a chill and pleasant place ends up being one in which their inhabitants carry a dark and meaty secret.

During the first scenes of “Two Heads Creek”, its campy horror-comedy tone is left clear, as well as the social themes that without much subtlety director Jesse O’Brien (“Alien Arrival”) and rookie screenwriter Jordan Waller put in the front row. Topics as actually relevant in the whole world such as racism and xenophobia are quickly felt and the liberal commentary behind them is evident. In the first scene, where we get to know the protagonist Norman (Jordan Waller), takes place in a post-Brexit England where immigrants are stalked by sectors against them, Norman being a victim for his Polish dependency. 

In this start, Norman’s shy personality is also presented, an antithesis of what a masculine personality should be and which is presented as another social critique about how society pushes individuals to do things they are not happy with just to comply with the social expectation. Contrary to Norma, his sister Annabelle (Kathryn Wilder; “Ready Player One”) has a rough personality, which leads to many funny moments between both at the same time as this social expectation about how someone must behave according to their gender is critiqued.

On the other hand, once Norman and Annabelle reach the rundown fictional town of Two Heads Creek and we get to know the inhabitants of this place, we see how they are another not at all subtle representation of ultra-conservative withe people living in a time far from the actual one. All this commentary is presented behind an effective comedic frame, where stereotypes of the different cultures are used as the base of the funny moments. Without a doubt, the comedy is its strongest asset and makes the movie fun throughout its full runtime. The horror aspect is always present in a suggestive form but is not until the final scratch where it materializes in over-the-top gore. 

The gore, as well as the visual aspect, is well done, although in parts they bet for using CGI, and this does not look as well as the rest. The way in which the scenes are edited and the transitions between them, as well as the soundtrack and sound effects, are very creative and give the movie its own personality, which always manages to keep a mysterious and suspenseful vibe thanks to its dark and well-done photography. 

“Two Heads Creek” mixes social problems of actual relevance with racial stereotypes in a horror-comedy that is more entertaining than expected. Although it is not exempt from some issues and its commentary is a bit on the nose and can be too much for certain audiences, especially conservative people, it is a good movie to have a good time. The comedy is its strength, but the gore is also well-done and worth it, even if you have to wait for it.

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