Jonah (Nicholas Bishop) is a hitman man on a mission of revenge, to kill Stephen Dunbar (Tony Bonner), a recently freed pedophile. But things go horribly wrong whilst he is trying to escape the police. Two innocent people, a father and daughter, Ben and Claire Rogen are killed. Jonah is now on the run. Through a series of unfortunate events he is eventually captured by Marie Rogen (Roxane Wilson), wife and mother of now deceased Ben and Claire (Shane Nagle, Jasmin Fuller), a woman devastated by her loss, ridden with her guilt and barely hanging on to her sanity. She ties him up while Jonah's mate Rufus (Mungo McKay) searches for Jonah . . .
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
A dense and tense thriller, Punishment is a well conceived genre film with a gritty and bloody core, with a strong story that reveals new elements as it goes. Danny Matier's debut is likely to be compared to Greg McLean's Wolf Creek, at least in its bloodiest aspects. In fact, it's a very different story and a very different film, taking as its starting point the revenge mission by a hitman to avenge a personal tragedy. This in itself is a novel idea, and the premise builds nicely to a crescendo. It's a well structured screenplay and gripping from start to finish.
Nicholas Bishop has a demanding role as first the hunter then the victim, and he delivers as best he can behind the prosthetics. Roxane Wilson has the biggest role as the distraught wife, Marie, and mother whose family is killed in a single terrible accident, going from gentle artist and art teacher to a terrorised, guilt ridden wreck. To Matier's writing and directing credit, he doesn't follow the predictable and formulaic character arc for her, which adds to the film's strength.
Bryan Proberts is excellent as David, one of Marie's art pupils with a dangerous secret, and his journey is one of the film's most spectacular - and gory. Mungo McKay as Jonah's partner in the revenge scheme underplays admirably, and Scott McRea is impressive as a local cop.
Excellent photography and editing and a nicely understated score help make this a a haunting and dramatic work with much going for it. This is the first of Queensland based Glover Productions' feature films, and should be made welcome by fans of the thriller genre.
Email this article
CAST: Nicholas Bishop, Roxane Wilson, Scott McRae, Bryan Proberst, Tony Bonner, Nicholas Cooper, Charlotte Gregg, Mungo McKay, Eric Scott, Shane Nagle, Jasmin Fuller
PRODUCER: Peter Glover
DIRECTOR: Danny Matier
SCRIPT: Danny Matier
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Andrew Conder
EDITOR: Dave Redman
MUSIC: James K. Lee
RUNNING TIME: 100 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Glover Productions
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: Indooroopilly, QLD: September 4, 2008 (other venues to follow)