Charlie’s Farm Review

Tara Reid and Kane Hodder headline this Australian Slasher

Tell me if you have heard this scenario before: Four friends decide to explore a remote part of the wilderness in search of a local legend, only to meet a hulking, grotesque cannibal that kills anyone he meets.

Written and directed by Chris Sun, Charlie’s Farm is a modern slasher on the gory side that owes much of its basic premise to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Set in a remote region of Australia, it features Tara Reid and Kane Hodder as the recognizable faces in a mostly Australian cast. This is not a particularly original or creative horror adventure but does introduce an imposing menace in Charlie Wilson, memorably played by the physically intimidating Nathan Jones.

Jason and Donkey (Sam Coward) come up with an idea to explore an area known as Charlie’s Farm in a remote part of Australia. Jason’s girlfriend Natasha (Tara Reid) and her friend Melanie (Allira Jaques) tag along for the adventure. The guys mostly see it as an excuse to scare the girls with wild tales of murder.

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It is rumored in local legend that back in the 1980s, the farm was the home of a cannibalistic family that liked to eat backpackers trekking across the local wilderness. Apparently the local town took matters into their own hands and finished the cannibal family off, only for their mentally disabled son to escape the same fate. Now thirty years later, Charlie has grown up into a hulking killer in the mold of Leatherface. He roams the countryside picking off backpackers too stupid to stay away.

Borrowing heavily from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and dozens of other violent slashers, Charlie’s Farm plods along down a predictable path. A few genuine surprises along the way would have done wonders. The film has to rely on the antics of Donkey, Jason’s burly friend, for most of its humor. Its best element is a likable cast of characters, even if the narrative takes far too much time meandering around until an adult Charlie is introduced.

Nathan Jones makes Kane Hodder look small in comparison.

The menacing killer has an imposing appearance. Actor Nathan Jones is a huge, muscular man and I suspect will soon be a staple in horror movies like this one. Nathan Jones makes Kane Hodder look small in comparison. It’s a shame he’s not introduced sooner into the movie. Once Charlie does arrive on the scene wrecking his mayhem, some fairly clever and unique kills are introduced.

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The days of Tara Reid being a star are over but she actually turns in a solid effort as the female lead. Playing the American girlfriend of Jason, she invests more into the role than I’ve seen lately from her. Kane Hodder briefly shows up but his character feels superfluous to the story, practically an afterthought until someone is needed to confront Charlie.

Charlie’s Farm introduces us to yet another mindless killing machine in the character of Charlie. The movie itself is passable slasher entertainment but uninspired. Hopefully director Chris Sun finds better inspiration in a sequel because wasting Nathan Jones’ impressively scary appearance as Charlie would be a shame.

Horror movies keep painting a grim picture of the Australian Outback for tourists and visitors. You would think backpackers would wise up and avoid remote Australian towns. I think a more refined sequel starring Charlie could make for an excellent movie.

Movie★★★☆☆

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

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The unrated Charlie’s Farm runs nearly 93 graphic minutes and is distributed by Alchemy on DVD.