Australian writer-director Tony D’Aquino’s ferocious debut feature is a good old fashioned R-rated gorefest that will have horror fans of all genders cheering.

Pitched as The Hunger Games meets The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, there’s more than just wall-to-wall splatter on offer in The Furies. With a title referencing the mythological goddesses of vengeance, who punished men for crimes against the natural order, the primary victim in this female-led slasher flick is toxic masculinity.

The film spells out its message early – and literally – in graffiti left on an underpass wall. Soon after scrawling their thoughts on the patriarchy, friends Kayla (Arlie Dodds) and Maddie (Ebony Vagulans) are abducted – Kayla awakening in a black coffin-like box in a mysterious forest, where hulking masked maniacs await. Encountering other abducted women and discovering they have all been fitted with retinal implants, Kayla suspects a most dangerous game is being played, but who is watching and why?

Horror devotees will love The Furies. The hardcore gore scenes are of the moist, prosthetic variety (including a show-stopping cranial bisection) and superbly executed by special makeup artist Larry Van Duynhoven. The roster of ‘Beasts’ hunting the ‘Beauties’ are also striking creations, distinguished by gnarly fright masks evoking horror favourites like The Burning, Motel Hell and Stagefright. They’d make a killer action figure line!

Relentlessly paced and technically proficient, with forbidding Canberra locations – including an abandoned gold town tourist attraction – used to eerie effect, The Furies twists the slasher movie ‘final girl’ trope and runs with it for 82 blood-soaked minutes.

Interview with director Tony D’Aquino 

In cinemas: November 7, 2019
Starring: Airlie Dodds, Linda Ngo, Taylor Ferguson
Directed by: Tony D’Aquino