Terror Down Under: Top 8 Horror Films to Come From Australia


Australian horror films have a lot of bite. Check out our list of some of the best horror movies to come from Down Under!

There’s an old saying — in Australia, everything is trying to kill you. Well, it might not be an old saying, but generally speaking, Australia is home to some of the deadliest and most poisonous species on Earth.

Perhaps they’ve been inspired by their deadly reputation, because Australia is also home to some seriously awesome horror films packed full of manipulative maniacs, determined monsters, and crazed killers. Let’s take a look through a few of my personal favorites.

Wolf Creek

via ComingSoon/Dimension Films

Wolf Creek is an absolute classic Australian horror film — so much so that the 2005 film spawned a sequel in 2013 and a TV show in 2016. The character of Mick Taylor is a truly memorable villain, played to perfection by John Jarratt. At first glance, he may seem a bit odd, but it’s easy to misinterpret his strange comments as offbeat outback charm.

But you shouldn’t. Because he’s sadistic, maniacal, and he has no mercy for his tourist victims. Greg McLean (who went on to direct The Belko Experiment) really captures the spirit of the film in a spectacular way. It begins light, airy, and adventurous, and turns into terror beyond belief.

Hounds of Love

via LA Times/Label Distribution

Hounds of Love is what I like to call a Suburban Thriller, meaning that the events of the film take place in a normal, quiet neighborhood, and the number one threat is someone you would typically choose to ignore. Their actions go unnoticed, and so they continue to kill.

Related Story: Hounds of Love: Psychologically intense journey into the dark

And kill, they will. Evelyn and John have a tumultuous relationship, but they are united by their passion for kidnapping, torturing and murdering young girls. The whole film is a fascinating look at manipulation and how it plays in their unhealthy relationship.

With compelling performances from the entire cast driving the tension home, it’s an uncomfortable watch, but a thoroughly impressive film.

The Loved Ones

via GraysonKilmer.com/Paramount

The Loved Ones has been a personal favorite of mine for years. It’s an unflinching look at the obsessive power of young love – but taken to extremes.

Young Lola is infatuated with classmate Brent and asks him to the upcoming school dance. He politely rejects her, but she won’t take no for an answer. Her dedicated Daddy abducts Brent and brings him to their own private party. What follows is brutal, unsettling, and captivating.

I wouldn’t call it torture porn – there’s more to it than just violence. And while the torture is cringe-worthy, it’s not as visceral as an Eli Roth venture. There are a few moving gears in this movie, but they all fit together to build a well-oiled machine.

Lake Mungo

via WeEatFilms/Arclight Films

Lake Mungo is a thoroughly unique mockumentary. It acts as an exploration of grief, but with supernatural elements and a large dose of mystery. Secrets unfold and details transform in a story that is constantly twisting.

I don’t want to say much on this one because I think it’s best to go in blind, but if you’re looking for a mockumentary film that thinks outside the box, this is one to check out.

The Babadook

via Pinterest/IFC Films

Despite the Babadook’s recent status as a gay icon, the actual film itself is a great horror movie. Not only is it creepy and atmospheric as hell, but it’s also an astute metaphor for depression.

The cast is fantastic as well — if you ever want an effective method of birth control, just watch this movie. The kid is so unbelievably nightmarish and the mother is so burnt out that it will seriously make you rethink having wee ones of your own.

The Snowtown Murders

via Roger Ebert/Madman Films

Speaking of Suburban Thrillers, The Snowtown Murders is a doozy. Based on a true story (also known as the bodies-in-barrels murders), the movie is all about the pressure a young man can feel to please his newfound father figure.

Again, we see an objectively normal man who seems innocuous, but there’s something monstrously terrible going on behind closed doors. It’s overwhelmingly tense, and it’s a phenomenal film.


via Gizmodo/Guerilla Films

Wyrmwood is like Mad Max meets Night of the Living Dead, but with a whole crazy sub-plot about how to control zombies. It’s a gritty, gnarly, crazy ride and it goes full-throttle.

That’s all I’m gonna say, because really, it’s just a damn good time.

Killing Ground

via Hollywood Reporter/Damien Power/IFC

Killing Ground is an intense survival thriller that once again tries to convince us not to go camping in Australia. First off, there’s probably a lot of creepy crawlies that you don’t want to encounter. I mean, there aren’t any in this film, but, that’s not relevant. The main concern — like in Wolf Creek — is that sometimes there are some crazy dudes in the outback who want to kill you.

It’s a pressure cooker of tension with some beautifully subtle performances, and it also reveals how relationships can change after such a horrific experience, which you don’t always get to see.

What are your favorites? What did I miss? Tell us in the comments!

Next: Best Horror Villains

Check out more lists from Kelly at iHorror.com.