As far as horror movies go, it’s safe to say Aussie films are decidedly underrated compared to their international counterparts.
While the horror genre has experienced something of a reinvention thanks to the psychologically spooky efforts of directors like Jordan Peele and Ari Aster, many Aussie flicks have yet to receive the recognition they deserve.
Thus, I have made it my mission to collate the finest Aussie horror movies that prove Wolf Creek isn’t all we’ve got to offer (although it does remain a modern classic).
For your viewing pleasure, here are seven of the best Australian horror movies.
1. Picnic at Hanging Rock
Although arguably technically more of a mystery film, there’s no doubt this 1970s’ classic set the standard when it comes to scary Aussie fare. Based on the bestselling novel, the tale of a group of schoolgirls who disappeared while visiting Victoria’s Hanging Rock is still as haunting as it was back then. In a testament to its staying power, the story was also recently developed into a TV series.
2. Wake in Fright
Another OG Aussie horror to have recently copped a TV remake, and for good reason, Wake in Fright set a benchmark for suspenseful, atmospheric thrills that make use of the rugged Australian landscape. The story of a young teacher stranded in brutal rural Australia inspired many outback-related horror movies to come.
3. Road Games
There’s almost no greater guarantee of a good horror flick than it starring Jamie Lee Curtis. The bonafide scream queen starred in a number of horror films in the 70s’ and 80s’, including the iconic Halloween series. Sliding into the Aussie scene, she plays a hitchhiker attempting to hunt down a serial killer who has been terrorising human along the highway.
Love Film & TV?
Get the latest Film & TV news, features, updates and giveaways straight to your inbox Learn more
4. The Loved Ones
Breathing new life into the ‘high school as horror’ trope, The Loved Ones also defies convention by featuring a memorable female villain. Based on a schoolgirl who seeks revenge after her classmate turns down her invitation to the formal, it’s a film that manages to switch between darkly funny and terrifying from scene to scene.
Although not strictly a horror movie, there’s no denying Snowtown covers some of the most horrific events to have ever occurred in modern Australia. Based on the true story of the Snowtown murders, it’s one difficult yet immensely powerful watch filled with unforgettable performances.
6. The Babadook
Directed by first-time filmmaker Jennifer Kent, this tale of a mother struggling to protect her child from mysterious forces single-handedly reinvigorated modern Australian horror. Although on the surface it appears to be a relatively straight forward monster movie, there is so much more than meets the eye in this story that grapples with themes of depression and grief.
The most recent addition to the Australia horror landscape, and a welcome one at that, Relic was directed by another first-time female filmmaker in Natalie Erika James. A largely metaphorical effort that will stay with viewers long after the credits roll, the story focuses on three generations of women attempting to uncover exactly what has happened to their Matriarch.