Hounds of Love (film)

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Hounds of Love
Hounds of Love (film).jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byBen Young
Produced byMelissa Kelly
Written byBen Young
StarringEmma Booth
Ashleigh Cummings
Stephen Curry
Music byDan Luscombe
CinematographyMichael McDermott
Edited byMerlin Eden
Distributed by
Release date
1 June 2017
Running time
108 minutes

Hounds of Love is a 2016 Australian crime-thriller film written and directed by Ben Young. The plot concerns a couple who kidnap and terrorise a young woman in the suburbs of Perth. The film is Young's directorial debut.[1][2]It was selected in the Venice Days competition at the 73rd edition of the Venice Film Festival, in which Ashleigh Cummings was awarded a Fedeora Award for best actress.


Vicki Maloney, an intelligent and charismatic teenager inwardly struggling with her parents’ recent separation, spends the weekend at her mother's house in outer suburbia. After a heated argument between them, Vicki defiantly sneaks out to attend a party and is lured into the car of a seemingly trustworthy couple, John and Evelyn White. Now at John and Evelyn's house, Vicki soon finds herself held captive where she is forced into a dark world of violence and domination. With no way to escape and her murder imminent, Vicki realizes she must find a way to drive a wedge between them if she's to survive her ordeal, and tries exploiting Evelyn's desire to see her absent children. Unfortunately, John's emotional hold over Evelyn is far beyond Vicki's comprehension and her efforts to turn them against each other only fuels Evelyn's will to see her die. Broken and tormented, Vicki accepts her fate may soon lie at the bottom of a shallow bush grave. Meanwhile, Vicki's desperate mother Maggie will stop at nothing to find her missing child. When Maggie's search leads her to John and Evelyn's street, Vicki finds the strength for one last attempt at survival by forcing Evelyn to realize if she ever wants to see her children again, she must break free from John's evil spell.



The film was given a limited theatrical release in June 2017 and was met with critical praise. On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 89%, based on 88 reviews, and an average rating of 7.2/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Smartly constructed and powerfully acted, Hounds of Love satisfies as a psychological thriller with a few nasty surprises — and marks writer-director Ben Young as a promising talent."[3] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 73 out of 100, based on 18 critics, indicating "generally favourable reviews".[4]

Critics found common ground in their enthusiasm about the psychological component to the horror depicted, as well as various technical aspects, particularly the cinematography and direction.[5][6][7]

The film was nominated for 9 AACTA awards in 2017 winning Emma Booth a Best Actress in a Feature Film Award.


Award Category Subject Result
AACTA Awards
Best Film Melissa Kelly Nominated
Best Direction Ben Young Nominated
Best Original Screenplay Nominated
Best Actor Stephen Curry Nominated
Best Actress Emma Booth Won
Best Supporting Actress Susie Porter Nominated
Best Cinematography Michael McDermott Nominated
Best Editing Merlin Eden Nominated
Best Hair and Makeup Hayley Atherton Nominated
Kate Anderson Nominated
ACS Award WA/ SA Division Awards Michael McDermott Won
ADG Award Best Direction in a Feature Film Ben Young Nominated
AFCA Awards[8] Best Film Melissa Kelly Won
Best Director Ben Young Nominated
Best Screenplay Nominated
Best Actor Stephen Curry Nominated
Best Actress Emma Booth Won
Best Supporting Actress Ashleigh Cummings Nominated
ASE Award Best Editing in a Feature Film Merlin Eden Nominated
ATOM Award Best Feature Film Melissa Kelly and Ben Young Won
AWGIE Award Best Original Feature Film Screenplay Ben Young Nominated
Boston Underground Film Festival Audience Award for Best Feature Nominated
Brussels Film Festival Grand Prix for Best Director Won
Grand Prix for Best Actress Emma Booth Won
FCCA Awards Best Film Melissa Kelly Nominated
Best Screenplay Ben Young Nominated
Best Actor Stephen Curry Won
Best Actress Emma Booth Won
Best Actress - Supporting Role Susie Porter Won
Best Cinematography Michael McDermott Nominated
Best Editing Merlin Eden Nominated
Munich Film Festival CineVision Award for Best Film by an Emerging Director Ben Young Nominated
Overlook Film Festival Best Film Won
Screen Producers Australia Best Feature Film Nominated
Transilvania International Film Festival Transilvania Trophy for Best Film Nominated
Venice Film Festival[9][10] Fedeora Award for Best Actress in a Debut Film (Venice Days) Ashleigh Cummings Won


  1. ^ David Rooney (2 September 2016). "'Hounds of Love': Venice Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
  2. ^ Eddie Cockrell (1 September 2016). "Venice Film Review: 'Hounds of Love'". Variety. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
  3. ^ "Hounds of Love (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  4. ^ "Hounds of Love Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  5. ^ "Film Calendar - The Austin Chronicle". The Austin Chronicle. 12 May 2017. Retrieved 25 November 2017.
  6. ^ "Hounds of Love is one of the most horrifying films of the year". The Atlantic. 12 May 2017. Retrieved 25 November 2017.
  7. ^ "Tracking Shots: This Week In Film". Village Voice. 10 May 2017. Retrieved 25 November 2017.
  8. ^ "The 2018 AFCA Awards". Australian Film Critics Association. Archived from the original on March 14, 2018. Retrieved February 28, 2018.
  9. ^ Vittoria Scarpa (9 September 2016). "The Venice Days Award goes to The War Show". CinEuropa. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
  10. ^ "Hounds of Love trailer gives abduction horror an 80s twist". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 5 June 2017.

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