100 minutes(4 out of 5)
Reviewed by: Alessia Belsito-Riera
I would like to preface this review by saying I’m not a horror movie gal. Quite frankly, I’m a big wuss. Give me the weirdest Fellini film or a twisted Coen brothers’ movie and I’ll be happy as Larry, but one jump scare and boom: blanket up to the ears. Don’t laugh – it is a proven fact that a blankie can protect you from anything.
I would also like to say I watched the new Kiwi film The Tank alone. I will take my gold star stickers now, thank you.
That said, I recently had the privilege of speaking with the director, writer, and producer of The Tank, Aucklander Scott Walker (check out our next issue for a fun close-up on him), and he informed me his 11-year-old and company were not scared in the slightest.
Well, I was. But isn’t that a good thing?
The Tank follows Ben (Matt Whelan), Jules (Luciane Buchanan), and their daughter Reia (Zara Nausbaum). After mysteriously inheriting an abandoned property along the Oregon Coast, the family accidently unleash an ancient creature (Regina Hegemann) that has terrorised the region, and Ben’s ancestors, for generations.
Initially the story seems to follow the classic creature-feature, but there is a great twist which I won’t spoil. It’s quite satisfying to see the mould broken a bit. The Tank also comments on human greed and impact on the environment, begging the question: who is the real monster here?
It’s set in the 70s, and the 40s technically, and Paul Murphy’s set decoration as well as Nick William’s production design are superb. You also will have noticed that the creature holds a credit. That’s because this entire film is made using practical effects instead of CGI. This is hands down the coolest thing; simply phenomenal. I love it.
The Tank is out in cinemas on the 6th of June. New Zealand has a long history with genre films, and Scott Walker now joins that legacy. So grab a mate and a blankie for protection, and go support Aotearoa’s newest feature film. It’s a doozy, and pretty cool if you ask me.