It’s often stated, only half-jokingly, that not only can everything in Australia kill you in a variety of agonizing ways, but will also gladly do so. The next cinematic outing to explore this concept is The Faceless Man, a horror that looks compellingly nasty, and for which a new trailer has now been released.
The story follows cancer survivor Emma, whose BFF Nina organizes a weekend away to take her mind off her fear of a relapse, bringing along several friends for a wild time cut off from contact with the outside world where the only things to concern themselves with is what’s right in front of them. Unfortunately, this ends up including some locals who take violent exception to their carefree heathen ways and attempt to educate them in proper decorum when visiting backwater settlements in the middle of nowhere, all the while an entity haunting the house in which they’re staying emerges to terrorize them on a whole different front.
Although the plot of a group of twenty-something friends heading off for a heavy weekend in a remote location might make even neophyte horror fans roll their eyes, the film looks to be much more than the typical ‘cabin in the woods’ setup that has been overdone multiple dozens of times previously.
Young people partying are, along with ethnic minorities and cultural stereotypes, some of the most beleaguered types of people in horror movies, although their being given only one type of danger to face is typically enough. Having them encounter violently puritanical locals as well as the titular supernatural evil is an unusual choice, and while there is the possibility of it leading to an uneasy alliance with the wholly human antagonists, more likely (and interesting) is if the newcomers instead face a battle for survival on two fronts: one against those mortal and bound to the rules of the material plane, and the other anything but.
Australia is low-key known for its horror output, with Ozploitation being a real film term for a reason, and The Faceless Man looks to be continuing that tradition. You can decide for yourself if it’s worth a watch though when it hits streaming platforms on August 28th.