Directed by Peter John Starring Tarnea Omeara, Lyall Morris, Jackson Rich, Kirra Green, Brody Cross, Kodan Lynam, Jordan Merry & Aaron Bradley Short film review by Monica Jowett
Short horror film Bunyip is not what it seems. Taking its name from the mythical creature feared in Australian Aboriginal mythology, the film keeps us questioning from start to finish. Director Peter John has created a very original film.
The film starts off with a group of kids at a skate park. It’s the 80s and the middle of summer; they are hanging out and enjoying themselves. An older group arrives, taunting them and trying to flirt with the only girl in the group Miranda (Tarnea Omeara). On the radio in the background they hear news of 10 feet waves hitting the beaches so they head off.
The skater surfing scene of the 80s is prominent in the short film, from the music to the clothes to the cinematography in the VHS quality. It is fun to see the cast enjoying the different setting, though it feels little has changed in that culture over the years.
The music, from Jeremy Fowler, really captures the spirit of the film, the carefree attitude of the young kids and the overall laidback stereotypes of Australians. Along with the bantering dialogue between the two groups of skaters, the music does put a smile on your face – it is the perfect soundtrack for summer.
The film’s dialogue, which looks as though it has been dubbed over the original, even though they are saying the same words, might be hard to get your head around if you are unfamiliar with the Australian vernacular. Nevertheless, the confident way the actors address one another and interact provides decent performances from the whole cast.
What really stands out for the short film is how it has been shot and edited to make it look like it has been filmed in the 80s where there were few to no digital cameras available. The video style definitely gives it an extra edge. The camera looks slightly hazy at times, which helps to introduce the titular Bunyip.
Peter John has really made the effort with his short film, and the style and story makes it a thoroughly enjoyable watch.