Reviewed by: Scott Macdonald

Backpackers beware - pair of torture flicks, Hostel and Wolf Creek, with the latter sporting an alarmingly duplicitous nature in amongst its dim characters and vicious misogynism. Roger Ebert famously gave it zero stars and looked for those supporting his summary of "Made me want to vomit and cry at the same time".

Gone has no such pornographic will, or sly wit. It is an unrelentingly dull exercise in inept thriller-mongering, promising little, but little else. A pleasingly unsubtle, subsequently ignored, homoerotic thread opens the movie, with Alex (Shaun Evans) arriving in Sydney and taking a moment to gather his bearings. Having a rummage through a dog-eared travel guide, he meets Taylor (Scott Mechlowicz) - who quickly says "You won't find what you're looking for in there." Taylor invites him to an evening of fun - "You'd be doing me a favour" - but we never learn this favour, other than grabbing a polaroid of him with a girl.

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Alex is meeting up with his girlfriend, and they're off on a road-trip across the Australian outback, Taylor offers to join them for this, and they graciously accept. Bad move!

Before long, they begin bickering, arguing, knocking down kangaroos. The movie is often pleasant to look at, but ultimately breathtakingly dull, taking over an hour to get anywhere that isn't straight off a soap opera. Minimal characterisation, paper-thin plot - it doesn't add up to anything, really.

Mechlowicz is the highpoint of the movie, his boyish, yet angular face, and softly spoken manner are interesting, and he doesn't let the feeble script get him down - he'll be back. Is he a sociopath, or just a bit weird? Movie doesn't say - until we've tuned out the whole affair.

Given the choice between this, an inept thriller, I'll take the morally bankrupt torture flick anytime. At least I can say I survived, rather than that I wanted to walk out in utter boredom.

Reviewed on: 28 Mar 2007
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Gone packshot
More trouble in the outback for packpackers.
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Director: Ringan Ledwidge

Writer: Andrew Upton and James Watkins

Starring: Shaun Evans, Scott Mechlowicz, Yvonne Strzechowsk, Victoria Thaine, Amelia Warner

Year: 2007

Runtime: 88 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted


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If you like this, try:

Paradise Lost
Wolf Creek