film the boys (18)

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The Independent Culture
There are few signs that Rowan Woods' skilful first feature, The Boys (above), is adapted from a theatre play. It is neither static nor stagey, and marks a welcome return to the grungy realism that characterised a lot of Australian cinema in the Seventies. It also features some of the most chillingly convincing acting you will see this year.

David Wenham is particularly unsettling as Brett Sprague, the dead-eyed, sociopathic yobbo, who leads his two brothers astray after returning from prison. Their interactions with one another occur in an atmosphere of barely suppressed violence; and the fear that they instil in the women in their lives is almost palpable.

The Boys is extremely uncomfortable viewing. But, like a road accident, it is also morbidly fascinating.

On general release

Stephen Applebaum