Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Animal Kingdom

(Australia, 2010)

One of the bleaker films you would do well to avoid, unless you really dig this sort of thing. It got rave reviews, and I guess it deserved them, particularly Jacki Weaver as the smiling head of a criminal family of people I’d rather jump into a pit of vipers than spend any time with. A young man, her grandson, calls Granny “Smurf” Cody to calmly report that her daughter, his mother, has just snuffed it from a heroin overdose. So he moves in with her and the rest of her scum-of-the-earth family. Some of the boys ambush and murder a couple of cops, the cops retaliate by gunning down one of the boys in cold blood, and everything is coming to a head with a trial. Much pressure is being put on the boy, and Granny decides he’s a threat to the rest of her family. So she tells the others to watch him, and kill him if necessary. First, they kill his totally innocent girlfriend. Then …

… aw, fuck it. Everyone once in a while a movie just makes me sick to my stomach. In a different mood I might have liked it more. I’m not saying it’s a piece of shit. But what’s even more disgusting is that the story was based on a real Australian family, the Pettingills, who really did murder two cops and got off scot-free. Again I say, fuck it. I’m putting this one out of my mind.