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.