Long Weekend (1978)

Genres - Thriller  |   Sub-Genres - Natural Horror  |   Release Date - Mar 29, 1979 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 95 min.  |   Countries - Australia  |  
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Let it never be said that subtlety is a lost art. In fact, Colin Eggleston's Long Weekend is so subtle, you might not catch the fact that the husband and wife protagonists display a brazen indifference bordering on contempt for nature in all its forms. In fact, all the movie is missing is a scene where John Hargreaves' Peter takes a few potshots at the sand, because the sand was looking at him wrong. Long Weekend is little more than an extended cautionary tale about the karmic foolishness of disrespecting nature. But it's so labored, unintentionally comical, and logic-impaired, it crosses over from the horror/thriller genre into the kind of unwitting spoof that might find its way onto Mystery Science Theater 3000. The characters repeatedly default to the most ignorant behavior possible, including cutting down trees for grins and giggles and unleashing shotgun blasts on the ocean because of a sea creature making noise. It's obvious that nature is going to rise up and dispatch this disagreeable pair, but it takes so long for it to happen, and the characters have so many opportunities to mend their ways and get out clean, that any little sympathy for them is as lost as they are. Also lost is any sense of eeriness, the moment the filmmakers throw a stuffed raccoon at Hargreaves and show close-ups of claws raking his skin. In a sense, Long Weekend is in the same category as Peter Weir's Picnic at Hanging Rock, in that it delves into the unsolved mysteries of nature that are part and parcel to Australian lore. But in a more dominant sense, its moronic bluntness places it in a category all its own.