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Long Weekend

Long Weekend (Jamie Blanks, 2008) wr. Everett de Roche, dp Karl von Moller, music and ed. Jamie Blanks; James Caviezel, Claudia Karvan; festival screenings, no theatrical release; to DVD 15Jun10

I was trying to find what was wrong with this as I watched it, and it's certainly easy to dislike Jim Caviezel, and not just because the character he's playing is a prick: he's an ugly American, doing work in Australia that would have been done much better by many Australian screen workers. Apart from that, and that Claudia Karvan didn't seem to be putting her heart into her role, it was hard to find what was wrong with it. It was competent, but just in a routine way.

Jamie Blanks has more credits as a composer than director, tho he seems to have directed four features, the last two - this one and Storm Warning (2007) - in Australia, the others in the USA.

Impossible not think of the John Hargreaves film of the same name (1979) and wonder yet again what was the mysterious something that made Colin Eggleston's film so creepy. I was actually reviewing in my mind scenes from the earlier film while watching this one - which was not difficult given that this one is almost identical (apart from the new ugly American dialog) except for that je ne sais quoi.

It was a nice little surprise to see Roger Ward driving the truck, not to mention John Brumpton propping up the bar at the Eggleston (!) Hotel earlier on; apparently the writer is in that scene. Vincent Monton, who shot the original, directed second unit, and the great Grant Page supervised stunts. Briony Behets (the actress in the original) is among those thanked. The film is dedicated to the memory of Colin Eggleston.

See also: Catherine Simpson 2010, 'Australian eco-horror and Gaia's revenge: animals, eco-nationalism and the 'new nature', Studies in Australian Cinema, 4 (1): 43–54.

Garry Gillard | New: 4 January, 2013 | Now: 22 June, 2020