Long Weekend (1978)

DVD Cover (Synapse)
Genres: Horror, Natural Horror, Thriller
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Colin Eggleston Colin Eggleston
John Hargreaves John Hargreaves
Briony Behets Briony Behets
Mike McEwen Mike McEwen
Roy Day Roy Day
Michael Aitkens Michael Aitkens
Movie Connections:
Long Weekend
> Long Weekend (1978)
> Nature's Grave (2008)

6.7 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by bluemeanie
Added: September 21, 2007
What a lot of people don't realize is that Australia has always had a thriving horror industry. Recently, with the success of "Wolf Creek", people have started connecting Australia with contemporary horror, but it was also at the forefront of the genre back in the late-1970's and early-1980's. If you ask a lot of professional film critics to list their favorite horror films ever made, "Long Weekend" would make a lot of those lists, and does frequently. I would not call it one of the best horror films ever made, but it certainly does pack an interesting punch.

What turns a lot of people off about "Long Weekend" is the subtext. This is a film about how many is constantly destroying nature and how, one day, nature will find a way to fight back. It's a film about appreciating nature and not taking it for granted. It kind of reminded me of "Open Water" -- but not in the strictest sense. The film is about a young couple, Peter (John Hargreaves) and Marcia (Briony Behets) who go camping for the weekend on an isolated stretch of beach to help mend their nearly broken marriage. They are your typical suburban yuppies, and they do everything from litter to fire off their guns and scare the wildlife and they even intentionally wound a small kangaroo, with very little remorse. The film is about how nature gets revenge on the couple.

You get the idea -- I don't want to spoil much more for you. But, if you have even the slightest respect for nature and how powerful it is, this film will be unsettling for you. When you watch something like this, it seems silly and absolutely unbelievable, but if you think about it -- how difficult would it really be for nature to rise up and fight back, if it felt mistreated? It's not that 'out there' -- certainly not as much as you might think. "Long Weekend" takes one of our hidden fears and hits us over the head with it, kind of like what Hitchcock did with "The Birds". This film is similar to "The Birds" in many respects. The bottom line -- nature can only take so much before it fights back.

This is a perfect DVD to re-discover this Halloween season. The remastered edition is available for purchase or Netflix purposes and I highly recommend it. It will be different from any other film you have seen. And it might be one of the true original horror films. Hopefully, it will enlighten people to the fact that Australia has always had a thriving horror industry and continues to match their former talents with all new ones. 8/10.
Christopher #1: Christopher - added 09/25/2007, 12:19 PM
I wasn't a large fan of Long Weekend and the fact Hollywood is remaking it is just pathetic.
bluemeanie #2: bluemeanie - added 09/25/2007, 03:14 PM
I think it will be interesting to see how they remake it. It could be good in the right hands.
Chad #3: Chad - added 09/23/2008, 09:16 AM
"they even intentionally wound a small kangaroo"

Did I see a cut version of the film, or was that inaccurate? I saw that the guy took his eyes off the road for a minute to change the cassette and plowed into a (fully grown) kangaroo, but that's the closest thing to what you said.

Anywho, this movie was shockingly good. I expected a campy, cheesy little flick, but this was actually pretty damned creepy. As far as the remake though, I really don't see that working: in today's PC world, how will they get away with some of the stuff that they did here?

Still, great movie - very atmospheric, very tense, and some gorgeous shots. 9/10.
Chad #4: Chad - added 09/23/2008, 09:27 AM
Alright, just saw the trailer for the remake. It looks to be a line-by-line, shot-by-shot remake, only, dumbed down for the American teenage audience. Jump scares? Fight scenes? Chase scenes? Random bodies turning up in mutilated / decaying form? Where was all of this in the original? Oh, that's right, none of it was needed because the filmmakers actually knew how to tell a story and build tension the old-fashioned way.
bluemeanie #5: bluemeanie - added 09/23/2008, 10:21 AM
The trailer didn't look nearly as awful as I had imagined. I loved the original, but think a remake could be all right if handled correctly, of course that is a big 'if'. I will give it a shot. Jim Caviezel looks good in it.
Chad #6: Chad - added 09/23/2008, 10:28 AM
What I don't get about this particular remake is... why? I mean, there's nothing wrong with the original film: it looks good, the acting is good, the storyline is good, and really, everything about it works. In terms of special effects, there's really not much that needs updating: the birds scene towards the end was a little off, but they'll do that with CGI in the remake and it won't look much better. As far as modernizing it goes, there's only one scene (the aforementioned cassette changing) that gives away the film's age - other than that, I'd have no problems believing that it was released this year if I didn't know any better.
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