Starring Shaun Evans, Scott Mechlowiwicz and Yvonne Strzechowski. Directed by Ringan Ledwidge.
Running Time: 88 minutes
Rated: Rated M (moderate violence, moderate coarse language)

Some tourist bureaus must be getting alarmed. After Them and Blood and Chocolate, who would dare go to Bucharest? After Wolf Creek, who would want to go to the outback of Australia? Apparently, Alex and Sophie, the two central backpackers in Gone have not heard about Wolf Creek. The title, Gone, indicates that not everyone is going to survive this story.

Actually, it is something like a B picture of the past, a hitchhiker story, not so much with horror, as a drama which builds up suspicion and ends in death and terror. While it finishes in the outback of central Queensland, it treats the audience to glimpses of Sydney, northern coast beaches and Byron Bay and some coastal Queensland settings before our travelling trio make for Longreach.

Brit Alex (Shaun Evans) gets off the plane in Sydney intending to catch up with his girlfriend Sophie (Amelia Warner) who is already in Byron Bay. A chance encounter on his first night in Sydney with a nice young American man called Taylor ( Scott Meklowicz who was mean in Mean Creek but heroic in Peaceful Warrior) leads to Taylor him offering a lift, doing kind things (though he has a bad habit of snapping compromising photos) and then suggesting that they travel together.

As expected, bad idea. Not that Taylor is so obvious or blatant. He is able to persuade people to give him the benefit of the doubt. But, he is bad news, deep down malevolent.

We see a lot of Australian scenery but practically no Australians. They are in bars drinking or performing in a local band and dancing - or a dead kangaroo on the highway. Acting and directing are not going to win any awards. It's another of those threatening tales that provides a movie pastime.

Universal Out July 19

Fr Peter Malone MSC directs the film desk of SIGNIS: the World Association of Catholic Communicators, and is an associate of the Australian Catholic Office for Film & Broadcasting.

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