"I'm really pleased to see this film available at last on DVD, as it's a taut, surprising and effective thriller. The movie concerns a bickering husband and wife (the only two characters in the film), who decide to spend a weekend in the Australian countryside to see if they can patch up their marriage. They prepare themselves adequately for a weekend of roughing it, but find themselves unable to fight back against (or comprehend) an inexplicable bombardment of hate from the forces of nature!
The action in the film is cleverly staged, as the trip seems harmless enough to begin with, but cleverly, the couple's plight deepens very gradually. Actually, it's suggested in several key sequences that they are in fact to blame for nature's retaliation - they drop litter, kill and squash small creatures, even hit a kangaroo with their car. But the real reason for the apparent revenge taken by the wilderness surrounding them remains unclear right through until the end of the film.
But there are intriguing hints and clues. From the start, lots of small things seem slightly wrong, and as the couple prepare to depart for their holiday, news reports are heard of animals behaving oddly, which seems like a bad omen right away. I won't go into what actually happens to the two hapless leads, because, for one thing, when written on paper they sound pretty unimpressive. The film's strength is it's ability to make you uneasy at the seemingly random events unfolding, and to add a sinister undertone to the slightest odd occurence. Handled the wrong way, this story could have turned out completely flat, but director Colin Eggleston, together with the two leads, manage to build an atmosphere of superb, bewildering suspense.
Although superbly written, acted and directed, the movie is completely low key almost throughout. I find this a particular skill of good Australian cinema, this ability to stir you without really doing anything explosive or exaggerated onscreen. It's a trait that's also apparent in the gorgeous "Picnic At Hanging Rock" , which has a similar air of mystery and the unexplained about it. However, unlike that movie, "Long Weekend" does have more of a sense of closure - with a powerful ending. It's a film that will definitely linger in your mind."
Long weekend is a forgotten classic
William | Australia | 10/28/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"LONG WEEKEND was made during an Aussie film boom in the 1970's. SO many films came out around 1976-1978 that it's no surprise that some films can be overlooked down the track.
LONG WEEKEND centres on a couple who are at a bad point in their relationship - constant bickering, arguing, fighting. A chance to get away camping over a long weekend is surely the cure to their problems? No. It just adds to them. The movie cleverley uses the surrounding elements to create a very eeery atmosphere. The tension slowly builds to a climax that you will never see coming.
This forgotten Aussie classic was released last year on DVD in Australia with a few extras. It's now available on DVD in USA too. A movie worth adding to your collection - a snapshot of camping trips to the Aussie coast in the 70's. Well worth a look."
LONG WEEKEND...CREEPS UP ON YOU!
M. Grant | Detroit, Michigan | 10/22/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Long Weekend is an atmospheric "scary" movie from 1977. It was made in Australia and although it carries a PG rating there is some violence, adult themes, and nudity so mature viewing is recommended.
This is the kind of film that starts off so-so, gets you wondering "Where is this movie taking me?", and all of a sudden you're sucked in by the atmosphere of it and wondering, "How is this going to end?" The movie centers on a married couple (basically the only two characters in the movie) and their camping trip in the Outback to help get the stress out of their marriage. Their weekend does not evolve the way they planned.
It's all about the journey in watching this movie so don't let anyone spoil a single scene. By the halfway point when they're driving along the beach you'll be on the edge of your seat.
The DVD also contains a few extras including a decent commentary track that reveals a bit from the film-makers on how they delivered "the goods".
The closest thing I can compare it to from recent American cinema is The Blair Witch Project. That's the kind of horror and atmosphere you'll be getting with this movie. If you're looking for jump out of your seat screams, this isn't the movie for you. But, if you're the kind of person who enjoys a good creepy film that crawls up your spine...then I recommend Long Weekend."
It's not nice to fool Mother Nature
Sarah Bellum | Dublin, OH United States | 10/25/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"(That's for you fellow kids of the 70s) Peter and Marcia (not the Brady kids) head to the beach for a weekend camping trip together. Their marriage is not all it could be and some time together might remedy that. Along the way, Peter litters, carelessly starts a fire with a discarded cigarette butt and shoots his gun indiscriminately. Paradoxically, he also stops his car when he inadvertently hits a kangaroo with his car (this is Australia), buries a beached sea lion and castigates Marcia after she destroys an eagle's egg. What to make of this Peter? It is not as though he is intentionally destructive; rather, he is simply very inconsiderate, acting without thinking of his consequences. He is also very selfish, as we find out through his interactions with Marcia. While she is still convalescing, he drags her along on this camping trip rather than staying at an inn as she had wanted. Then he rigs the car so she cannot drive it and forces her to stay much longer than she wants. Sound like an exciting movie? Actually even less so than that. As I watched this movie, the adjective `tedious' kept coming to mind. It isn't a bad movie, just not quite interesting enough to watch more than once. Rent first. This is a special edition DVD, with a great transfer from the negatives, very good 5.1 channel mix, director commentary and production photos. I wish they would have added English subtitles to the list because the Aussie accent is sometimes difficult to understand. Subtitles would have earned the DVD an extra half star."
A suspense masterpiece
uncut76 | England | 07/30/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Someone obviously had sense to release this on DVD. This is one of the top 10 films I've seen, in any genre. It's one of those films that sucks you into it's world and won't let you go...very gripping performances and a mad pay-off that will have you squealing with despair. 5 stars."