Rotten Tomatoes is celebrating Halloween with 31 days of horror double feature recommendations. Each day of the week will have its own theme, with today’s being Freestyle Fridays! And if you want see what’s in store or what you missed, see the Daily Double schedule.
For Freestyle Fridays, we get a Rotten Tomatoes writer to offer up personal favorites. Today: Joel Meares — who can’t look at a bloody power drill and not think of simpler, happier times — shows up with two contemporary classics from the Australian motherland.
Kasey Chambers’ country ballad, “Not Pretty Enough,” spent four weeks at number 1 on the singles charts in Australia back in 2002, and holds a place in the culture not dissimilar to the space occupied by certain seminal ’80s pop tracks in the U.S: From first sickly-sweet strum, it evokes a kind of high-school yearning – “Am I not pretty enough, is my heart too broken?” Chambers sings – and for many in its homeland, an instant desire to change the radio station. One of the pleasures of Sean Byrne’s movie is his juxtaposition of the song – and other stereotypical “girly” tropes (obsession with pink, scrapbooking, princesses) – with absolutely brutal violence; imagine if The Texas Chainsaw Massacre had been scored to “Time After Time.” It’s a basic revenge tale: Teenager Lola and her dad deliver splattery payback to an average high-school kid when he turns her down for the formal (translation: prom). But it’s elevated by some inventive grisliness and Robin McLeavy’s crazy-good performance as Lola, which should have made her a bigger star than she’s become stateside. Expect a bit of torture porn, some Chainsaw-style family weirdness, and to never look at your kettle the same away again.