"From the director of Valentine and Urban Legend
" the rental DVD cover exclaims loud and proud, but I'm not entirely sure if this is the best way to promote your film to true horror fans. Even more so, if I were in directors Jamie Blanks' shoes, I would insist to have those two titles removed as it might even cause people to relinquish from seeing "Storm Warning" altogether. Both "Valentine" and "Urban Legend" are mundane, unmemorable and politically correct American teen slashers, whereas "Storm Warning" is a provocatively raw and unhinged piece of Aussie survival horror. Albeit a fairly prototypic product of nowadays hypes and trends (like torture porn flicks and the revival of Grindhouse-type movie), "Storm Warning" plays in an entirely different and superior league than those infantile teen slashers. It almost feels as if Jamie Blanks returned to his home country Australia and finally got offered the chance to make a legit horror movie after all that confined and disappointing Hollywood crap. But, as indicated already, originality isn't exactly this film's biggest trump. We're overflowed with this sort of horror films nowadays (just think of "Hostel", "Scar", "Wolf Creek", "Blood Trails"
) and, since they pretty much all feature the same plot outline, the final judgement of whether it's "good" or "bad" almost fully relies on how gory, shocking and sadistic the film is. Fans of rough and nasty can be reassured; "Storm Warning" reaches an extremely high score on the repulsiveness-scale! The film takes off slow and moodily unsettling, but in the last twenty or so minutes all hell breaks loose and we're treated to a handful outrageously engrossing and surprisingly ingenious torture sequences. A young couple making a sailboat day trip lose their sense of direction and can't return to the harbor because of a suddenly uprising storm. They strand on a remote island and seek shelter in a seemingly abandoned farmhouse. Then, of course, the farmers return and turn out to be two menacing, perverted and psychopathic brothers
. And then the couple hasn't even met their "poppy" yet. The first hour of this short but effective little Aussie shocker is slow but nevertheless suspenseful. Director Blanks clearly adores long pan shots of the ocean and the darkening clouds, but somehow these images set the exact right tone for the events to come. Later on, "Storm Warning" is truly hardcore-to-the-bone, with the French girl suddenly transforming into a do-it-yourself avenging angel! There's also a rather uncomfortable moment involving a cute wallaby and hands down the most agonizing penis moment since that infamous scene in "I Spit on your Grave". Nadia Farès is a ravishing lady to look at and particularly the three native Aussie freaks (David Lyons, Mathew Wilkinson and John Brumpton as Poppy) are marvelously convincing.