Directed by Ian Coughlan
During a Ouija board session with her teenaged friends, 16-year-old Alison gets a warning from beyond the grave not to go home for her 19th birthday. Fast forward three years later, when Alison is summoned to birthday celebrations with her aunt and uncle in Sydney, and visits them with her boyfriend - who becomes increasingly suspicious of the over-protective circle surrounding Alison. Before long Alison finds herself at the center of an ancient supernatural drama of which her own family are the custodians. An example of Australian folk horror with a clear lineage in the British tradition, ALISON'S BIRTHDAY also mines the elder-horror of films like SUSPIRIA (1977) and THE NIGHT NURSE (1978).
During a Ouija board session, 16-year-old Alison is warned not to go home for her 19th birthday.
Cast: Joanne Samuel, Lou Brown, Bunney Brooke, John Bluthal, Vincent Ball
This movie is perfection itself. I can see why it's a folk horror classic: I see the DNA of Hereditary and even some Love Witch in this. Sophisticated and even funny at moments. I appreciated the boyfriend character a lot: he really respected Alison and took her concerns seriously, even when they didn't yet know what they were dealing with.
a lot lot better than I thought it would be. really good old aussie horror
First 30 minutes were awesome. Next 40 minutes was okay. Final 30 minutes were awesome. Would recommend if you can stomach a slow second act.
I was impressed with this one. The acting was a tad wooden, though the setting and the cult, even dated, were believable--I'd go so far as to say they were compelling. Sadly, the ending sort of dribbles away behind a quick 'gotcha' moment that broadcast so obviously what was going to happen. Still, as one of the founding films of folk horror, it's worth a watch.