• Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

“Snowtown,” also known as “The Snowtown Murders,” is an Australian biographical crime drama film directed by . The movie is based on the true story of the notorious “Bodies in Barrels” case that occurred in South Australia during the 1990s. The film follows the life of Jamie Vlassakis, a vulnerable teenager who befriends John Bunting, a charismatic but deeply disturbed man. As their friendship develops, Jamie becomes entangled in a series of gruesome murders orchestrated by Bunting and his accomplices, known for their brutal and sadistic methods. The narrative explores themes of manipulation, abuse, and the disturbing dynamics that lead to heinous crimes.


“Snowtown” received critical acclaim for its intense and chilling portrayal of real-life events. The film is praised for its unflinching depiction of the harrowing crimes and the psychological complexities of the characters involved. The performances, particularly by as John Bunting, were widely lauded for their authenticity and unsettling realism. However, due to the disturbing nature of the subject matter, the film is not for the faint of heart.


The film's plot revolves around the gradual descent into the darkness of Jamie Vlassakis, played by . Jamie, living in a dysfunctional and abusive household, finds solace in the company of John Bunting, portrayed by . Bunting presents himself as a father figure, mentor, and protector to Jamie, but he is, in reality, a charismatic serial killer with a sinister agenda.

Under Bunting's influence, Jamie becomes an unwitting participant in a series of murders that target individuals whom Bunting deems undesirable. The crimes involve torture and dismemberment, with the bodies stored in barrels in an abandoned bank in Snowtown. The film portrays the disturbing dynamics of this criminal partnership, highlighting the manipulation and coercion that lead Jamie down a path of violence.

As the murders escalate, the community becomes aware of the horrors happening in their midst. The film delves into the impact of these crimes on the local residents and the profound psychological toll it takes on Jamie.


“Snowtown” received several awards and nominations, particularly for 's performance as John Bunting. The film won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in the Un Certain Regard category. It also received the Critics' Award for Best Australian Feature at the Sydney Film Festival.


While “Snowtown” gained critical acclaim, its popularity is tempered by the intense and disturbing nature of its subject matter. It found an audience among those interested in true crime stories and psychological thrillers but may not be suitable for a broader mainstream audience due to its explicit content and unsettling themes.


Directed by
Screenplay by Shaun Grant
Story by
Based on Snowtown murders
Produced by
  • Anna McLeish
  • Sarah Shaw
Cinematography Adam Arkapaw
Edited by Veronika Jenet
Music by Jed Kurzel
Distributed by Madman Films
Release date
  • 19 May 2011
Running time
120 minutes
Country Australia


Please Rate this Movie!

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 1

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this movie.

Have you seen the Movie? Add your ideas!