Review by Sean Boelman
If pulled off well, the horror-comedy can be one of the most immensely satisfying genres there is, and yet filmmakers so often fail to capture the perfect balance between the two tones and instead deliver something underbaked and inconsistent. Jesse O’Brien’s Two Heads Creek has an obvious love for horror, but unfortunately, it isn’t quite able to strike that chord.
The film follows two twin siblings who, after discovering that they may have been adopted, travel to Australia in the hopes of finding their biological mother, sensing that something may be astray with the small town in which she lives. There are a lot of things happening here, and not all of them are effective, but some hit the nail perfectly on the head.
One of the biggest problems with the movie is that it takes a long time for it to figure itself out. Jordan Waller’s script has a lot of interesting ideas, but the main storyline initially presents itself as a subplot for much of the film’s first half, and this is much more interesting than anything it tries to do before that. It’s disappointing that the movie didn’t lean into these elements more heavily.
There is some interesting commentary in the script about immigration, and while the satire here is obviously very extreme, the jump scares aren't the scariest thing about this film — it’s that the events don’t seem too far off from something that could happen in real life. And despite the fact that this is a U.K.-Australian production, its themes are pretty significant globally.
On the other hand, the sibling relationship between the two leads isn’t particularly affecting. Sadly, this relationship feels more like an excuse to get these characters to their destination rather than a legitimate storyline. Had the film leaned a bit more into this dynamic, it would have been a lot more compelling and almost certainly funnier.
Jordan Waller and Kathryn Wilder are still able to pull their roles off in a very charming and charismatic way, though. Both have a very inspired screen presence, showing a lot of potential to take the genre by storm. Additionally, the ensemble is filled with actors who give zany and over-the-top performances perfect for this type of movie.
On a technical level, the movie is much more appealing in the second half than the first. Around the midway point, there is a musical number set to the song “Horror Movie” by Skyhooks, and it has an undeniable energy about it that is extremely infectious. One almost wishes that the film had been a bit more consistent in this regard.
Two Heads Creek isn’t a great horror-comedy, but it has a handful of really good moments. Director Jesse O’Brien is obviously very talented, and given a more complete script, he could bring something much more entertaining.
Two Heads Creek hits VOD on June 23.
Dedicated to unique and diverse perspectives on cinema!