Aroview: A macabre comic adventure of murder and blackmail in rural Taranaki in the 30's, this follows CAME A HOT FRIDAY, THE SCARECROW and PALLET ON THE FLOOR as the last film adaptation of cult author Ronald Hugh Morrieson's novels.
Dir. Jason Stutter graduates from the no-budget genre comedies TONGAN NINJA and DIAGNOSIS: DEATH, which both made virtues of their knowing cheesiness, but this more sophisticated prospect proves less forgiving of shifts in tone and performance, though it stacks up handsomely in the production design department. While perhaps too innocuous to genuinely thrill adult audiences, its boys-own, old-fashioned sensibility will certainly engage younger viewers looking for a spirited Gothic romp with a local twist.
4 stars (Very Good) Well-pitched performances from Clement and Frost, along with a heightened sense of 1900s gothic panic pervading Stutter's cinematography and production design, overcome uncommitted performances from Franklin and Finn and a sense of unusual slightness. ~Anon
3 stars (Good Enough) Glad the fourth and final film from the collection has been made, and true to the other Morrieson's as well. Taranaki hasn't change that much since the film was set either haha.~Barry B