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TSZDT: The 50 Greatest Australian and New Zealand Horror Films

TSZDT: The 50 Greatest Australian and New Zealand Horror Films

Current Version: May 2019 (5th edition)

The 1,000 Greatest Horror Films: Introduction | #1-#100 | #101-#200 | #201-#300 | #301-#400 | #401-#500 | #501-#600 | #601-#700 | #701-#800 | #801-#900 | #901-#1000 | Full List | Sources | The 21st Century’s Most Acclaimed Horror Films | Top 50 Directors

The main TSZDT list has 10 films from Australia and 5 from New Zealand. Out of the 7,195 nominations, 92 Australian films and 24 New Zealand films have received at least one vote. Find this list on IMDb and iCM.


1. Braindead

Peter Jackson

1992 / New Zealand / 104m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Timothy Balme, Diana Peñalver, Elizabeth Moody, Ian Watkin, Brenda Kendall, Stuart Devenie, Jed Brophy, Stephen Papps, Murray Keane, Glenis Levestam

“Dead-Alive is one outrageously gruesome set piece after another, a movie in which the human characters are boring but the limbs, eyeballs, and — especially — intestinal tracts have an exuberant life of their own. There are no rules in Jackson’s slapstick carnival of gore. Bodies tear themselves in half; rib cages are ripped from their owners; a murderous monster baby burrows into someone’s head from the inside; the hero plows through a living room full of zombies while wielding a raised lawn mower. Do you really want me to go on? Dead-Alive obviously isn’t for everyone, but it’s the most delirious bloodbath since Re-Animator, the kind of horror movie that makes you want to turn your head — and then dares you to look away.” – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

The Babadook

2. The Babadook

Jennifer Kent

2014 / Australia / 93m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Essie Davis, Daniel Henshall, Tiffany Lyndall-Knight, Benjamin Winspear, Noah Wiseman, Carmel Johnson, Hayley McElhinney, Craig Behenna, Peta Shannon, Cathy Adamek

“At the beginning, the tension is all wrapped up in this out-of-control child. Wiseman, who was 6 when the film was shooting and is making his screen debut, is an ideal mix of wide-eyed innocence and tantrum-throwing rage. At one point, as his screeches fill the car, you may wonder how his mum has managed to go this long without strangling him… That is the subtext running through the film — the threat of imaginary monsters and the real ones humans are capable of becoming… Many times along the way, you fear you know where things are going. But Kent is clever in choosing unexpected spots to pull the rug out from under you.” – Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times

Wolf Creek

3. Wolf Creek

Greg Mclean

2005 / Australia / 99m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
John Jarratt, Cassandra Magrath, Kestie Morassi, Nathan Phillips, Gordon Poole, Guy O’Donnell, Phil Stevenson, Geoff Revell, Andy McPhee, Aaron Sterns

“McLean captures that real horror in a brutally unHollywood way, one that goes beyond the frank, almost documentary style of the cinematography and performances and the presentation. The young actors playing the kids are so simply effective that they couldn’t be more removed from the jokey, self-aware snarkiness of most modern “horror” movies, in which everyone knows they’re following a formula and the ending is preordained and it’s all a big joke. And John Jarratt’s Mick is something of a throwback, in the best sense: he’s not a cartoon maniac, like Jason or Freddie, but a genuine human person who’s gone off a deep end that is, unfortunately, all too familiar in the modern annals of crime and depravity. Mostly, though, it’s how McLean refuses to give in to the expectations we typically bring to horror movies, that everything must wrap up in a particular way and concepts like justice and fairness must prevail. Cuz as we all know, the real world is only rarely that satisfying.” – MaryAnn Johanson, Flick Filosopher

Bad Taste

4. Bad Taste

Peter Jackson

1987 / New Zealand / 91m / Col / Splatter | IMDb
Terry Potter, Pete O’Herne, Craig Smith, Mike Minett, Peter Jackson, Doug Wren, Dean Lawrie, Peter Vere-Jones, Ken Hammon, Robin Griggs

“Ever since Sam Raimi’s “The Evil Dead” re-wrote the horror film as slapstick comedy, guerrilla filmmakers with low budgets and big dreams have tried to emulate the punk magic of this cult masterpiece. Most have been merely derivative, but by delving deeper and darker, writer and director Peter Jackson made “Bad Taste” both a gut-wrenching slasher classic, and a surreal – almost hallucinogenic – comedy. Despite being little more than a rambling selection of lame characters and imaginative – if hammy – executions, the film’s farcical energy and glorious B-movie schlock keeps you hooked until the apocalyptic finale. This is a film without heroes… All you can do is sit back, hold on, and watch the roller coaster carnage unfold.” – Matt Ford, BBC

Picnic at Hanging Rock

5. Picnic at Hanging Rock

Peter Weir

1975 / Australia / 115m / Col / Mystery | IMDb
Rachel Roberts, Vivean Gray, Helen Morse, Kirsty Child, Tony Llewellyn-Jones, Jacki Weaver, Frank Gunnell, Anne-Louise Lambert, Karen Robson, Jane Vallis

“That [Weir] also refuses to answer the questions the film presses upon us is a tactical risk, but it works because he is not setting it up as a straightforward narrative. He is playing with themes and images, and only elusively with a plot. The girls that remain behind become hysterical, unable to explain what became of their friends, and there is a strong allusion to the force of nature that also exists within their pubescent bodies, as if sexual awakening can have devastating outward results — an idea exemplified when the girls are spotted barefoot in the bush from afar by a stable boy and a young English aristocrat. From their point of view, they are both angels and sirens, and when the boys follow they find no trace of them. Meanwhile, their headmistress, played with stoic force by Rachel Roberts, is determined there is a rational explanation, but no answer will be forthcoming. It is a dreamlike journey with no resolution, just fragments and suggestions, leaving an almost painful sense of longing for these lost creatures.” – Ian Nathan, Empire Magazine


6. Razorback

Russell Mulcahy

1984 / Australia / 95m / Col / Nature | IMDb
Gregory Harrison, Arkie Whiteley, Bill Kerr, Chris Haywood, David Argue, Judy Morris, John Howard, John Ewart, Don Smith, Mervyn Drake

“Mulcahy also takes a page out of Spielberg’s playbook by keeping his monster on the edge of the frame, empowering the beast with a near-mythic quality, and it doesn’t hurt that when we are given a good look at the titular terror, the results are impressively authentic (courtesy of designer Bob McCarron). The slaughterhouse finale, with its crackling sparks and grime-covered machinery, delivers the final reel shocks and splatter we deserve without compromising any of the well-grounded work that has gone before.” – Horror 101 with Dr. AC

The Frighteners

7. The Frighteners

Peter Jackson

1996 / New Zealand / 110m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Michael J. Fox, Trini Alvarado, Peter Dobson, John Astin, Jeffrey Combs, Dee Wallace, Jake Busey, Chi McBride, Jim Fyfe, Troy Evans

“The Frighteners, which starts out like a screwball comedy with ecotoplasm, then deepens into a movie about redemption, is directed by Peter Jackson, best known for 1994’s marvelous Heavenly Creatures. But viewers who loved that film’s air of quiet menace may be put off by the cranked-up pace and volume of The Frighteners; this movie is much more like Jackson’s wacky 1992 horror film Dead Alive. Which is to say, the relentless Frighteners is overloaded with jokes… and unsettling special effects (the villain surges through walls, mirrors, and rugs with shocking speed). The Frighteners is also that rare horror film that actually gets better as it proceeds; this scare machine has a heart and a brain.” – Ken Tucker, Entertainment Weekly

The Loved Ones

8. The Loved Ones

Sean Byrne

2009 / Australia / 84m / Col / Black Comedy | IMDb
Xavier Samuel, Robin McLeavy, Victoria Thaine, Jessica McNamee, Richard Wilson, John Brumpton, Andrew S. Gilbert, Suzi Dougherty, Victoria Eagger

“An Australian horror picture in the tradition of New French Extremism, Sean Byrne’s The Loved Ones adheres to the principle that if you delve into full-tilt repulsiveness wholly enough, the rest will just sort of take care of itself. You could call it “torture porn,” as many critics have since it was released in its native Australia two years ago, but then this isn’t exactly Hostel either; its tone is too light, its manner too cavalier, to be bogged down by the kind of portentous posturing that made Eli Roth’s film reek of self-importance. Byrne, a first-time director, has a lot of fun with what is essentially rote slasher material, endowing it with the kind of blackly comic wit and levity that virtually guarantee its entry into the contemporary midnight-movie canon.” – Calum Marsh, Slant Magazine

Black Sheep

9. Black Sheep

Jonathan King

2006 / New Zealand / 87m / Col / Comedy | IMDb
Nathan Meister, Peter Feeney, Danielle Mason, Tammy Davis, Oliver Driver, Tandi Wright, Glenis Levestam, Nick Blake, Matthew Chamberlain, Nick Fenton

“Jonathan King’s Black Sheep, from New Zealand, has no doubt about the style of movie it is attempting to make: trash gothic. It duly makes it. A deadly chemical escapes from a South Island animal lab and turns sheep sociopathic. Never mind the silence of the lambs. Listen out for the bloodthirsty baa-ing of the man-eating ovines. The special effects are of the kind you could do at home with a bottle of ketchup and leg of mutton. The scream-ridden soundtrack is often drowned out by audience laughter. It is all good, camp fun.” – Nigel Andrews, Financial Times

Long Weekend

10. Long Weekend

Colin Eggleston

1978 / Australia / 97m / Col / Nature | IMDb
John Hargreaves, Briony Behets, Mike McEwen, Roy Day, Michael Aitkens, Sue Kiss von Soly

“Under Eggleston’s moody direction, even the most minute of sounds is over-amplified to explosive volume and the voyeuristic camerawork tends to be from the ground up, as though from the point-of-view of lurking critters – so that the wilderness locations, for all their natural beauty, seem to brim with the tension of unbearable foreboding. Neither Hargreaves, nor Behets, shrink from the narcissistic unpleasantness of their characters, in what are bravely unflattering performances. Best of all is the ending, which, though shockingly abrupt, is, within the film’s elaborate nexus of motifs, totally, perfectly right, only to be topped by a final, fern-laden image that is haunting enough to do Andrei Tarkovsky proud.” – Anton Bitel, Eye For Film

Lake Mungo

11. Lake Mungo

Joel Anderson

2008 / Australia / 87m / Col / Found Footage | IMDb
Rosie Traynor, David Pledger, Martin Sharpe, Talia Zucker, Tania Lentini, Cameron Strachan, Judith Roberts, Robin Cuming, Marcus Costello, Chloe Armstrong

“Anderson’s use of the documentary framework is an inspired choice, since it lends what we’re seeing an air of reality that helps build the tension to jangling point. It also gives him the opportunity to vary the look with the use of different types of film, including Super 8 and lots of still photography, smartly serving the story while keeping a grip on what was, presumably, a very tight budget. By staying true to the audience’s expectations of the documentary format, the sense of dread that settles over the family is also more readily conveyed than it might have been if we were watching something which looked more ‘fictional’. It’s not just the format that draws the viewer in, but also the manner in which the film is shot. Since much of what the family talk about relates to spooky images in pictures, Anderson’s camerawork draws you deeper and deeper into the frame with an increasing feeling of unease.” – Amber Wilkinson, Eye For Film

What We Do in the Shadows

12. What We Do in the Shadows

Jemaine Clement & Taika Waititi

2014 / New Zealand / 86m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, Jonathan Brugh, Cori Gonzalez-Macuer, Stuart Rutherford, Ben Fransham, Rhys Darby, Jackie van Beek, Elena Stejko, Jason Hoyte

“Fans of Clement and Waititi’s previous work know the kind of humour to expect: bone-dry, beautifully observed and deeply silly. There’s a brilliantly funny sequence in which the three speaking vamps furiously debate the washing up rota, the importance of virgin blood is floridly discussed, while a dinner party sequence in which potential victims are confronted with re-enacted Lost Boys sequences is beautifully done… Clement in particular is clearly having a brilliant time, as it soon becomes apparent that the lascivious Vlad’s best years are behind him, while Waititi slays with his portrayal of the sweetly heartbroken Viago. In short, the most important thing to know about What We Do In The Shadows is that it’s laugh-out-loud hilarious” – Jonathan Hatfull, SciFiNow

The Cars That Ate Paris

13. The Cars That Ate Paris

Peter Weir

1974 / Australia / 91m / Col / Black Comedy | IMDb
John Meillon, Terry Camilleri, Kevin Miles, Rick Scully, Max Gillies, Danny Adcock, Bruce Spence, Kevin Golsby, Chris Haywood, Peter Armstrong

“With echoes of Nabokov and Ballard, this is the story of an ordinary man drawn into a world where nothing is as it seems, and where the logical rules he has followed all his life can only lead him down the wrong road… Effortlessly employing surrealist and fantasy tropes in a story that is, ultimately, never very far from the possible, Weir steers us on a dizzying journey through autophilia, survivalist politics, and the darker side of human nature. Above all, the town’s very special cars will stick in your memory. Modified into something ferociously unnatural and yet curiously animal, they are at once works of art and deadly killing machines.” – Jennie Kermode,


14. Roadgames

Richard Franklin

1981 / Australia / 101m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Stacy Keach, Jamie Lee Curtis, Marion Edward, Grant Page, Thaddeus Smith, Steve Millichamp, Alan Hopgood, John Murphy, Bill Stacey, Robert Thompson

“Director Richard Franklin has openly confessed that his Road Games is an “Alfred Hitchcock derivative.” Replacing Jimmy Stewart’s apartment view in Rear Window with the fly-splattered windscreen of an 8-wheel truck, Road Games hurtles into a world of obsession, mistaken identity and psycho killers as if the master himself were in the passenger seat. But the sheer unhinged energy Franklin injects into the narrative make this more than just a simple pastiche. This is Hitchcock at 80mph and it doesn’t let up for a second.” – Tom Fallows, Classic-Horror


15. Rogue

Greg Mclean

2007 / Australia / 99m / Col / Nature | IMDb
Radha Mitchell, Michael Vartan, Sam Worthington, Caroline Brazier, Stephen Curry, Celia Ireland, John Jarratt, Heather Mitchell, Geoff Morrell, Damien Richardson

“Rogue may keep its creature hidden for large stretches in order to generate tension through omnipresent suggestion, but its expertly orchestrated set pieces don’t skimp on the killer-croc goods, providing enough glimpses of the beast feasting on terrified humans to deliver requisite horror-premise payoffs. Mclean’s tight scripting rarely relies on stupid behavior to elicit scares and refuses to one-dimensionally condemn its characters for less-than-noble reactions to trauma, exhibiting shrewd, nonjudgmental consideration for the strains its stranded travelers are under. All the while, his evocative widescreen cinematography of the Australian landscape – part Terrance Malick-entrancing, part John Carpenter-creepy – lends the action a sense of encompassing ominousness, and in its reverence for the natural world, proves in tune with the director’s own respect for his characters, his B-movie genre, and his audience.” – Nick Schager, Lessons of Darkness

Body Melt

16. Body Melt

Philip Brophy

1993 / Australia / 81m / Col / Body Horror | IMDb
Gerard Kennedy, Andrew Daddo, Ian Smith, Regina Gaigalas, Vincent Gil, Neil Foley, Anthea Davis, Matthew Newton, Lesley Baker, Amy Grove-Rogers

“The trouble is that, by doing his thing so well, director Philip Brophy has left audiences unsure if his film is a spoof – but you only have to pay attention to its innovative camerawork, perfectly arranged lighting and seamless continuity to realise that there’s a lot of talent behind it. Whilst it would be entertaining either way, it’s clearly more than just a halfhearted slice of exploitation movie-making – it’s a hilarious tribute to the best-loved cliches of the genre, and the affection and understanding that have gone into it mean it has real spirit, energy and character.” – Jennie Kermode, Eye For Film


17. Snowtown

Justin Kurzel

2011 / Australia / 119m / Col / Crime | IMDb
Lucas Pittaway, Bob Adriaens, Louise Harris, Frank Cwiertniak, Matthew Howard, Marcus Howard, Anthony Groves, Richard Green, Aaron Viergever, Denis Davey

“It’s Australian director Justin Kurzel’s first feature, and on the basis of this, he’s not only remarkably assured at telling a story as economically as possible through images, but also knows how to conjure up an authentic sense of place — in this case, the working-class milieu of Adelaide, Australia’s northern suburbs—and come up with the right visual shorthand to vividly evoke mood and reveal character. Kurzel also seems to have a sure touch with actors, judging by the utterly natural performances he elicits from a mostly nonprofessional cast. All of this helps to make The Snowtown Murders an indubitably unnerving experience; as a horror film about an innocent teen who somehow becomes an accomplice to a band of serial killers, Kurzel’s film is grimly, viscerally effective.” – Kenji Fujishima, Slant Magazine


18. Daybreakers

Michael Spierig & Peter Spierig

2009 / Australia / 98m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Harriet Minto-Day, Jay Laga’aia, Damien Garvey, Sahaj Dumpleton, Allan Todd, Gabriella Di Labio, Ben Siemer, Peter Welman, Ethan Hawke, Callum McLean

“Daybreakers is the pinnacle of fun, modern sci-fi horror actioners. Supported by a killer cast including Sam Neill and Willem Dafoe (in his seventh movie of the last year), the film creates a lush, dark universe in which the vampires won, humans lost, and now the world just might come to an end in a bloody orgy of self-destruction, quite literally tearing itself apart. Beautifully shot and masterfully crafted, it hits all the right notes, delivering what can best be described as a fun experience that doesn’t for a second cheat your brain out of the ride. This isn’t a “shut your brain off” action film. On the contrary, it is a great piece of speculative fiction with a lot to say about human nature and our disregard for the limits of our resources. All while rocking your face off with taut pacing, incredible action, and dark pathos.” – C. Robert Cargill,

Wake in Fright

19. Wake in Fright

Ted Kotcheff

1971 / Australia / 109m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Donald Pleasence, Gary Bond, Chips Rafferty, Sylvia Kay, Jack Thompson, Peter Whittle, Al Thomas, John Meillon, John Armstrong, Slim DeGrey

“For decades, Wake in Fright (aka Outback in the UK and US) was cinema’s pre-Cern Higgs Boson particle, a theoretical keystone in the construction of the New Australian Cinema of the 1970s, and its gap-toothed relative, the Ocker Comedy. Released in the same year – 1971 – as Nicolas Roeg’s Walkabout, Ted Kotcheff’s psychodrama has been variously cited as a precursor for Mad Max, a jumpstart for a national film industry, and, by the reckoning of Rex Reed and Nick Cave, the greatest Australian film ever made… John Grant’s odyssey, for all its excesses, forms a neatly symmetrical, perfectly Kafkaesque narrative.” – Tara Brady, Irish Times

Heavenly Creatures

20. Heavenly Creatures

Peter Jackson

1994 / New Zealand / 99m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Melanie Lynskey, Kate Winslet, Sarah Peirse, Diana Kent, Clive Merrison, Simon O’Connor, Jed Brophy, Peter Elliott, Gilbert Goldie, Geoffrey Heath

“By sympathising with all his characters, Jackson brings off an affecting finale. The tension and savagery of the murder are almost unbearable, but so is the confusion of our feelings. Paul-ine’s mother has been shown to be a sincere, if limited, woman, in despair at a child who seems to have outgrown her parents. She is not the monster that the girls have created in their minds. Jackson takes us to the brink in our identification with the girls, and we watch in horror as they go beyond it. It is an exemplary scene of violence, the more powerful for all that has gone before.” – Quentin Curtis, Independent on Sunday

The Last Wave

21. The Last Wave

Peter Weir

1977 / Australia / 106m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Richard Chamberlain, Olivia Hamnett, David Gulpilil, Frederick Parslow, Vivean Gray, Nandjiwarra Amagula, Walter Amagula, Roy Bara, Cedrick Lalara, Morris Lalara

“Peter Weir’s extraordinary film is a visually startling and totally engrossing meditation on the close connection between the mysteries of nature and the power of dreams. We have often been told of the importance of dreamtime in the religion of the American Indian. We have seen the same force at work in Carlos Castaneda’s trilogy about Don Juan. Now the theme emerges from the Australian aborigine culture. Yet can we live in the presence of a mystery that consistently baffles reason and challenges our consensual vision of reality? The Last Wave is another in a series of works urging us to attempt the descent into the unconscious. And it does so with an aesthetic sureness that is both salutary and stunning. Russell Boyd’s cinematography and Max Lemon’s editing are absolutely brilliant. They snare us in a web that interweaves everyday happenings with the inexplicable in a totally convincing way.” – Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality & Practice


22. Patrick

Richard Franklin

1978 / Australia / 112m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Susan Penhaligon, Robert Helpmann, Rod Mullinar, Bruce Barry, Julia Blake, Helen Hemingway, María Mercedes, Walter Pym, Frank Wilson, Carole-Ann Aylett

“Director Richard Franklin (Psycho II) eventually lets Patrick’s powers go haywire, but the first half of the film combines sinister atmosphere-building with a justified faith that an immobile killer is still an ever-present threat. The spitting is a shock every time—and when Patrick starts getting some feeling back in his lower regions, that’s plenty creepy too—but there’s tension every time Kathie or another hospital worker blithely works the monitors or adjusts the sheets around him. He’s like a coiled rattlesnake ready to strike, and taking a cue from the Italians, Franklin focuses heavily on Thompson’s baby blues, sensing not only life behind his eyes, but a kind of chilling, crystal-ball omniscience.” – Scott Tobias, The Dissolve


23. Housebound

Gerard Johnstone

2014 / New Zealand / 107m / Col / Black Comedy | IMDb
Morgana O’Reilly, Rima Te Wiata, Glen-Paul Waru, Ross Harper, Cameron Rhodes, Ryan Lampp, Mick Innes, Bruce Hopkins, Wallace Chapman, Millen Baird

“It’s difficult to talk too much about Housebound without spoiling it. First-time writer-director Johnstone’s ingenious script consistently wrong-foots the audience and shifts from one subgenre to another without ever once losing its grip on the comedic elements. It’s creepy, tense and scary. The film’s greatest success is the relationship between Kylie and her mum. Their back and forth, complete with ancient resentments, is beautifully observed, and both O’Reilly and Te Wiata are absolutely spot-on as the bitter teen and the well-meaning mum respectively. It’s also worth mentioning Harper, who is a particularly deadpan delight as Graeme.” – Jonathan Hatfull, SciFiNow

Dead Calm

24. Dead Calm

Phillip Noyce

1989 / Australia / 96m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Nicole Kidman, Sam Neill, Billy Zane, Rod Mullinar, Joshua Tilden, George Shevtsov, Michael Long, Lisa Collins, Paula Hudson-Brinkley, Sharon Cook

“There are elements here of an Arthur Conan Doyle short story, in which travellers stumble upon evidence of weird and terrible deeds in strange, exotic locations. Fear mounts as mystery thickens. The unknown, the unthinkable, creates a terror far worse than living reality… Phillip Noyce directs a tense thriller from the skeleton of old ideas. He is helped by Zane’s menacing performance and solid, imaginative acting from Kidman in her first starring role. John appears determined, resourceful and, as is so often the case with Neill, a little starched.” – Angus Wolfe Murray, EyeForFilm


25. Evilspeak

Eric Weston

1981 / Australia / 97m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Clint Howard, R.G. Armstrong, Joe Cortese, Claude Earl Jones, Haywood Nelson, Don Stark, Charles Tyner, Hamilton Camp, Louie Gravance, Jim Greenleaf


26. Upgrade

Leigh Whannell

2018 / Australia / 100m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Logan Marshall-Green, Melanie Vallejo, Steve Danielsen, Abby Craden, Harrison Gilbertson, Benedict Hardie, Richard Cawthorne, Christopher Kirby, Richard Anastasios, Kenny Low

Hounds of Love

27. Hounds of Love

Ben Young

2016 / Australia / 108m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Emma Booth, Ashleigh Cummings, Stephen Curry, Susie Porter, Damian de Montemas, Harrison Gilbertson, Fletcher Humphrys, Steve Turner, Holly Jones, Michael Muntz

Better Watch Out

28. Better Watch Out

Chris Peckover

2016 / Australia / 89m / Col / Home Invasion | IMDb
Olivia DeJonge, Levi Miller, Ed Oxenbould, Aleks Mikic, Dacre Montgomery, Patrick Warburton, Virginia Madsen, Alexandra Matusko, Georgia Holland, Beau Andre


29. Deathgasm

Jason Lei Howden

2015 / New Zealand / 86m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Milo Cawthorne, James Blake, Kimberley Crossman, Sam Berkley, Daniel Cresswell, Delaney Tabron, Stephen Ure, Colin Moy, Jodie Rimmer, Nick Hoskins-Smith

Black Water

30. Black Water

David Nerlich & Andrew Traucki

2007 / Australia / 90m / Col / Nature | IMDb
Diana Glenn, Maeve Dermody, Andy Rodoreda, Ben Oxenbould, Fiona Press

“Superb cinematography, a great sense of place and an eerie sound score are the mainstay of this horror story set in the mangroves of Northern Australia and whatever the film lacks in budget, more than makes up for it in atmosphere. Maeve Dermody gives an outstanding performance as one of three adventurous holiday makers who find more than they bargain for under the rippling, shadowy waters. It’s tense and terrifying as a simple outing becomes a fatal nightmare… No doubt driven by the small budget, the decision to use images of real crocodiles, rather than computer-generated ones is effective and it is credit to the filmmakers that these are used so well. Also as a result of the budget, the choice of the swamp location (in Sydney’s south) is as authentic and effective as any in the Northern Territory.” – Louise Keller, Urban Cinefile


31. Thirst

Rod Hardy

1979 / Australia / 93m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Chantal Contouri, Shirley Cameron, Max Phipps, Henry Silva, Rod Mullinar, David Hemmings, Rosie Sturgess, Robert Thompson, Walter Pym, Amanda Muggleton

“All of this is a hoot, even though I’m not convinced it’s totally meant to be since the film is fairly straight-laced and features that satiric bent that never quite bares its fangs, perhaps because Kate herself isn’t exactly part of the helpless working class, what with her posh apartment and cozy job. It’s not like she’s a farm girl out there with the dingoes and kangaroos. As a result, Thirst is divided against itself as a film that seems to have muddled political ambitions but also just wants to indulge in feverish, giallo-like hysteria (David Hemmings is even around as one of the cultists). Aesthetically, the film is similarly schizoid in its attempt to have its blood cow and eat it too, as it attempts to merge a clinical, modern day approach with more traditionally gothic imagery, so you’ve got blood farms smashing up against unholy rituals where the newly initiated tear into a human victim to the delight of their fellow vampires in the audience.” – Brett Gallman, Oh, the Horror


32. Undead

Michael Spierig & Peter Spierig

2003 / Australia / 104m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Felicity Mason, Mungo McKay, Rob Jenkins, Lisa Cunningham, Dirk Hunter, Emma Randall, Steve Greig, Noel Sheridan, Gaynor Wensley, Eleanor Stillman

“But for all its mood swings and intermittently self-defeating tonal shifts, Undead sure isn’t boring. Indulgent and silly, loud and obnoxious, joyously juicy and pretty darn insane, yes — but never boring. And it’s always great to see a colorfully crazy horror-type flick emerge from other shores. Just in the past few months I’ve been treated to gory delights […] and it’s consistently fun to see the numerous horror conventions tweaked, teased, and touched up from young filmmakers all over the globe. Apparently we all grew up watching the same exact horror flicks, and these young filmmakers, though perhaps a bit rough around the edges, clearly possess a deep, passionate, and appropriately irreverent affection for the genre. Undead might be a huge, loud, stonking mess, but for the most part it is oddly entertaining — and the splatter moments (the ones that avoid the usage of CGI, that is) are suitably, sloppily satisfying.” – Scott Weinberg, DVDTalk


33. Wyrmwood

Kiah Roache-Turner

2014 / Australia / 98m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Jay Gallagher, Bianca Bradey, Leon Burchill, Keith Agius, Berynn Schwerdt, Luke McKenzie, Cain Thompson, Damian Dyke, Catherine Terracini, Meganne West

“Wildly apocalyptic with dollops of silliness, Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead proves to be a splendidly gritty affair, a tale that feels like it’s being told from the back of a jeep as it races away from doomsday on a very bumpy road in Australia… Director Kiah Roache-Turner, working from a screenplay he co-wrote with his brother Tristan Roache-Turner, is conscious of delivering comic relief from the otherwise constant tone of ominous foreboding, a bit like occasional comic eulogies in the midst of a sober funeral. It’s somewhat too jarring at times, inducing a dose of disorientation, but when it scores it lends a welcome, raucous edge to the proceedings.” – Peter Martin, ScreenAnarchy

Queen of the Damned

34. Queen of the Damned

Michael Rymer

2002 / Australia / 101m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Aaliyah, Stuart Townsend, Marguerite Moreau, Vincent Perez, Paul McGann, Lena Olin, Christian Manon, Claudia Black, Bruce Spence, Matthew Newton

Next of Kin

35. Next of Kin

Tony Williams

1982 / Australia / 89m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Jacki Kerin, John Jarratt, Alex Scott, Gerda Nicolson, Charles McCallum, Bernadette Gibson, Robert Ratti, Tommy Dysart, Debra Lawrance, Simon Thorpe

“All of the best horror films have an element of ambiguity. And that is not a generalized sweeping statement, look at any list of great horror films and you will always find the true greats such as The Haunting or The Innocents in the top 10. What makes Next of Kin different and, dare I say, so very intriguing, is how very sane our hero appears to be… Depending on how well you deal with being kept in the dark, this could be an uncovered masterpiece or a forgettable exercise of undeniably impressive direction. Irritation with the ending rises in direct proportion of how invested you are in the film as a whole, which really is a most unfortunate ultimatum.” – Stephen Hill,

Wolf Creek 2

36. Wolf Creek 2

Greg Mclean

2013 / Australia / 106m / Col / Splatter | IMDb
John Jarratt, Ryan Corr, Shannon Ashlyn, Philippe Klaus, Shane Connor, Ben Gerrard, Gerard Kennedy, Annie Byron, Lucy Bayet, Chloé Boreham

The Reef

37. The Reef

Andrew Traucki

2010 / Australia / 94m / Col / Nature | IMDb
Damian Walshe-Howling, Gyton Grantley, Adrienne Pickering, Zoe Naylor, Kieran Darcy-Smith, Mark Simpson

The Tunnel

38. The Tunnel

Carlo Ledesma

2011 / Australia / 90m / Col / Found Footage | IMDb
Bel Deliá, Andy Rodoreda, Steve Davis, Luke Arnold, Goran D. Kleut, James Caitlin, Ben Maclaine, Peter McAllum, Rebecca Clay, Shannon Jones

“Taking a chapter from “The Blair Witch Project” and a page from 1973 cult item “Raw Meat,” Aussie mock doc “The Tunnel” delivers a pretty good spook show in the abandoned subway tunnels beneath downtown Sydney… Making the most of super-atmospheric locations never previously seen in an Aussie feature, debut helmer Carlo Ledesma is well served by his convincing quartet of thesps. Special kudos goes to Steve Davis, a real-life cameraman who performs impressively while also filming a sizable portion of the finished product… Ace lensing on a multitude of formats contributes significantly to the film’s believability as a found-footage item. All other technical aspects are excellent.” – Richard Kuipers, Variety


39. Primal

Josh Reed

2010 / Australia / 80m / Col / Nature | IMDb
Zoe Tuckwell-Smith, Krew Boylan, Lindsay Farris, Rebekah Foord, Damien Freeleagus, Wil Traval, Mark Saunders, Walangari Karntawarra Jakamarra, Stephen Shanahan, Ch’aska Cuba de Reed

Van Diemen's Land

40. Van Diemen’s Land

Jonathan auf der Heide

2009 / Australia / 104m / Col / Cannibal | IMDb
Oscar Redding, Arthur Angel, Paul Ashcroft, Thomas M. Wright, Mark Leonard Winter, Greg Stone, John Francis Howard, Torquil Neilson, Matt Wilson, Adrian Mulraney

100 Bloody Acres

41. 100 Bloody Acres

Cameron Cairnes & Colin Cairnes

2012 / Australia / 91m / Col / Black Comedy | IMDb
Oliver Ackland, Paul Blackwell, Ward Everaardt, Iain Herridge, Damon Herriman, John Jarratt, Jamie Kristian, Anna McGahan, Chrissie Page, Angus Sampson

Storm Warning

42. Storm Warning

Jamie Blanks

2007 / Australia / 86m / Col / Splatter | IMDb
Nadia Farès, Robert Taylor, David Lyons, Mathew Wilkinson, John Brumpton, Jonathan Oldham, Puss


43. Cargo

Ben Howling & Yolanda Ramke

2017 / Australia / 105m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Martin Freeman, Anthony Hayes, Susie Porter, Caren Pistorius, Kris McQuade, Natasha Wanganeen, Simone Landers, David Gulpilil, Joesiah Amos, Ella Barter


44. Feed

Brett Leonard

2005 / Australia / 101m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Alex O’Loughlin, Patrick Thompson, Gabby Millgate, Jack Thompson, Rose Ashton, Matthew Le Nevez, David Field, Sherly Sulaiman, Marika Aubrey, Adam Hunt

Strange Behavior

45. Strange Behavior

Michael Laughlin

1981 / Australia / 105m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Michael Murphy, Louise Fletcher, Dan Shor, Fiona Lewis, Arthur Dignam, Dey Young, Marc McClure, Scott Brady, Charles Lane, Elizabeth Cheshire

“It’s tough to keep calm during the opening credits of “Dead Kids” (a.k.a. “Strange Behavior”). Michael Murphy, Fiona Lewis, Marc McClure, Louise Fletcher, Charles Lane, Bill Condon and a score by Tangerine Dream pop up, building anticipation as each familiar name is presented on the screen and quickly establishing that this Michael Laughlin directed feature isn’t going to be run of the mill horror… The slow burn, hazy plot driven approach pulls this early eighties feature right back into the seventies with a David Cronenberg kissed, Brian De Palma vibe. Even with these vastly different influences, “Dead Kids” never feels disjointed… Co-writers Michael Laughlin and Bill Condon do a wonderful job speeding up and slowing down the action at appropriate times. The film houses some creepy moments and maintains a sense of humor throughout.” – John Carpenter, Theater Thoughts

Bad Boy Bubby

46. Bad Boy Bubby

Rolf de Heer

1993 / Australia / 114m / Col / Drama | IMDb
Nicholas Hope, Claire Benito, Ralph Cotterill, Syd Brisbane, Nikki Price, Ullie Birve, Audine Leith, Natalie Carr, Lucia Mastrantone, Carmel Johnson


47. Acolytes

Jon Hewitt

2008 / Australia / 91m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Joel Edgerton, Michael Dorman, Sebastian Gregory, Hanna Mangan Lawrence, Joshua Payne, Belinda McClory, Holly Baldwin, Anthony Phelan, Bella Heathcote, Sue Dwyer

Killing Ground

48. Killing Ground

Damien Power

2016 / Australia / 88m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Harriet Dyer, Tiarnie Coupland, Aaron Pedersen, Mitzi Ruhlmann, Maya Stange, Aaron Glenane, Stephen Hunter, Ian Meadows, Airlie Dodds, Julian Garner

King Kong

49. King Kong

Peter Jackson

2005 / New Zealand / 187m / Col / Monster | IMDb
Naomi Watts, Jack Black, Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Colin Hanks, Andy Serkis, Evan Parke, Jamie Bell, Lobo Chan, John Sumner

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

50. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Peter Jackson

2001 / New Zealand / 178m / Col / Fantasy | IMDb
Alan Howard, Elijah Wood, Noel Appleby, Sean Astin, Sala Baker, Sean Bean, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Billy Boyd, Marton Csokas