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Coffin Rock (2009)

coffin rock poster

Coffin Rock (2009) – A woman unable to conceive a child with her husband, despite 15 months of trying, makes the drunken mistake of sleeping with a young stranger. The stranger then goes to terrifying lengths to prove his paternity.

From the producer of Wolf Creek comes another Aussie horror/thriller called Coffin Rock. Jessie (Lisa Chappell) and Rob Willis (Robert Taylor) are married and living in a small fishing community charmingly known as Coffin Rock, in South Australia. They are a couple whose relationship is under stress because they’re trying for a baby. Since her husband Rob is having problems impregnating her they go to a medical clinic for help. While they are there they catch the attention of a psychotic young man who works there named Evan (Sam Parsonson) who becomes obsessed with Jesse within moments of laying his eyes on her. He then integrates himself into Jesse and Rob’s lives.

coffin rock kangaroo

After a drunken row, Jessie has a secret one-night-stand with Evan, the mysterious, kangaroo keeping Irish stranger with a major crush on her. Miraculously she gets pregnant and tells the naturally delighted Rob it’s his. But then creepy Evan becomes obsessed with her and the baby he is convinced is his. For most of the movie he spends time applying psychological pressures on Jessie who becomes increasingly distraught. Eventually though his behaviour switches from an eerie presence and threats to outright violence.

Despite the Wolf Creek links in terms of “from the makers of…..” they are totally different films. Wolf Creek was violent and bloody, Coffin Rock surprisingly has very little of the red stuff, and is much more of a psychological thriller. There are a few nasty moments (and one which is totally uncalled for in my opinion…….poor roo……..) but a lot of the terror comes in the form of not knowing what Evan is going to do next, and more importantly what lengths he will go to.

coffin rock chappell

It’s a relatively small cast, with our main three getting the majority of the screen time. The innocent husband Rob is played well and he is the one I felt for the most. I really liked the actor who played him, Robert Taylor, in Storm Warning, a much more straight forward horror film I reviewed last year, but he was still very good here. The cheating wife was played by Lisa Chappell who puts in a great performance. Playing a flirty character doesn’t mean she asked for what she got, but her moment of weakness could potentially (I don’t do spoilers!) 🙂 ruin her chances of a normal family life with her husband. As the film progresses I did feel sympathy for her, and as more and more people got dragged into this situation, she did a good job of portraying the fear she was going through. Which leads us on to the villain, Evan. Sam Parsonson in his feature film debut puts in a solid performance in a tricky role. Whilst not being in my opinion a conventionally good-looking man, I believed he could sneak his way into Jessie’s bed so to speak. As he goes through some changes later on, and we see more and more of what makes him tick, hats off to the guy for a great performance as a believable and menacing character. He was no Mick Taylor but he was frightening enough.

coffin-rock-robert-taylor-and-sam-parsonson1

The plot, while far from original, is actually pretty entertaining. I like the fact that they went a different route for a change and made the woman in the relationship the one that is unfaithful. As I’ve seen in other reviews, Coffin Rock does play out like an Australian low-budget version of Fatal Attraction, but that’s really not derogatory in any way. It does feel a little stretched out in parts, and maybe predictability tends to get the better of the film during the final act, as a number of genre conventions are spotted a mile away. Yet the impact remains due to our invested interest in these characters, and overall Coffin Rock is a good watch. It just needed more in the way of shock and surprise or committed character development to lift it to a higher rating.

6 stars

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34 Comments

  1. Excellent post, as you’ve said it seems to be influenced by Fatal Attraction.

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  2. I hated Wolf Creek but this sounds interesting and this line “the mysterious, kangaroo keeping Irish stranger” cracks me up, no idea why but I’ll watch it just for that, lol.

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    • Glad you liked it. 🙂

      I mean its nothing like wolf creek aside from being in Australia so you might prefer this. I prefer wolf creek but this is more psycho drama than anything. Cheers Misty

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  3. theipc

     /  March 25, 2013

    Good job, Skippy! I’ve been giving this a pass but you make it sounds decent. Is this unnecessary scene with a roo as bad as the one in Snowtown??? If so, I’ll continue giving this the cold shoulder. I am sick of animal violence in film.

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    • Thanks buddy. Erm……. It’s just as unnecessary but maybe not as brutal. Still no reason to be there in my opinion. Ill tell you in an email so I don’t spoil it here 🙂

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  4. Wordschat

     /  March 25, 2013

    Ty it sounds like the husband was shooting blanks. I like a psychological thriller. This should nit be confused with the Canadian kids show Fraggle Rock.I’ll look this up on Netflix.

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  5. I prefer Cop Rock.

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  6. I’ve enjoyed a lot of what the Australian’s are doing lately in film. I’ll give it a shot.

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    • For sure they have made some of my favorites in the past decade or so. Cheers buddy, hope you like it if you do catch it 🙂

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  7. Been on the fence with this one for awhile. Should I watch?

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  8. This is completely new film to me. Solid review!

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    • Cheers Keith. Yeah I try and find more obscure stuff when I’m not messing about with desert islands and playboy posts 🙂

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  9. Great write-up TC! Always cool to see what you have to say about aussie genre flicks! Are you aware Wolf Creek 2 is currently shooting here in South Australia? 🙂

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    • Thanks mate, I do love an Aussie film!! Yeah excited about wolf creek 2, glad it’s shooting was worried with all the delays! 🙂

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  10. angryscholar

     /  March 26, 2013

    Like some of the other commenters I wasn’t a big fan of “Wolf Creek” either, but this one sounds interesting. Great review.

    Did you see “Lake Mungo”? I checked the review dropdown but didn’t see it. I’d be interested to read your thoughts on that film.

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    • Seems Wolf Creek polarizes opinions. I really did enjoy it.

      I haven’t seen Lake Mungo. I own it due to the countless times people have come here and recommended it to me. I will bump it up my watch list as you’ve reminded me!! Really must be good as people always praise it! Thanks for the suggestion, and appreciate your comment 🙂

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      • angryscholar

         /  March 26, 2013

        No sweat man. I appreciate you putting this stuff on my radar.

        Don’t know if I liked Lake Mungo, exactly, but it was interesting. Very slow paced, more of a suspense film than horror. But it was an interesting spin on the docudrama/found-footage subgenre, and it had good production and decent acting. So worth a watch.

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        • Thanks and my pleasure!

          I have no excuse for not watching it, since I own it. Will definitely get it watched and reviewed soon 🙂

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  11. GaryLee828

     /  March 26, 2013

    I will have to give this one a try this week. You need to watch “The Hidden Face” available on netflix instant. But don’t watch a trailer b/c it gives the twist away. The Hidden Face is a great thriller with a twist that you never see coming. You should definitely give it a watch and see if you feel like writing a review on here. 🙂

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  12. “From the producers of Wolf Creek”… nope you’ve lost me 😉

    Nah seriously, sounds pretty interesting. Nice review mate.

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    • Lol – yeah and it looks like there are a few people divided on Wolf Creek so that battle (soon I promise!) will be fun 🙂

      Cheers buddy 🙂

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  13. This sounds really interesting, I’ll need to look out for it! I have to say that line about her having a secret one night stand with a kangaroo… I was pleased it said Irish man on the next line, lol! That would have been a whole other type of film!!! 😉

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  14. Not really my cup of tea but nice write-up as always bruv. Much like Eric, I wonder where you get this stuff from. 😉

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    • I seek out the dark side of cinema. When I’m not dicking around with my projects I forget that Im here to review and share these obscure horror films with the world!

      Cheers matey 🙂

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