The Dunes (2018)

Tim Phillipps, Jacinta Stapleton, Alexandra Davies, Martin Copping, Kate Neilson, Tatiana Sokolova, Maria Volk, Rich Paul,
A renowned journalist from the LA Times, who returns to his hometown of The Dunes and while he's there, a mysterious figure from his past arises and threatens his entire existence.
  • 6.0 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • Writer:
  • Director:
  • Producer:

All subtitles:

9 / 10

We need a sequel

I hope there is a sequel to this movie because it just needs one! I thought this movie was incredibly enjoyable. I will say that it didn't have much violence or gore that I wish it had but I was willing to overlook that. Martin Copping's story was a complex and compelling emotional tale about a successful journalist from Los Angeles making his way back to Australia. Seems normal right? That's when things take a turn. The character building is quick and to the point without being rushed and the relationships are built on throughout the entire movie. The ending was suspenseful but again I wish there was more violence and gore, maybe a little more Hollywood sprinkles on it. Having said that I would recommend this if you want a good story that attacks more to the psychological aspect of things but would advise you to find a different film if you're looking for something more of a horror movie.

6 / 10

A solid little Australian psychological thriller

A passion project from long term Australian actor turned director Martin Copping, The Dunes (the other Dune movie from 2021) is a low budget Australian thriller that favours the slow burn, as we follow Copping's LA based journalist Nicholas Rice on a trip back to his small Australian home town, a town that hides secrets both old and new in a potentially deadly scenario.

Backed through extensive Kickstarter campaigns and a dogged determination from Copping who also wrote this feature to coincide with his leading turn and direction, The Dunes is an at times rough around the edges (not to be unexpected from such a production) feature but there's enough going on here to ensure that should you be willing to bypass its raw nature, Copping's dark genre offering is a unique Australian piece that isn't afraid to shock and provide its share of twists and turns.

Shot in and around the picturesque Australian area of the Mornington Peninsula, The Dune's pretty backdrops and seaside surrounds mask the sins and evils that exist in Rice's past and present as he deals with his deteriorating father, past loves and a new contact in the form of Tim Phillipp's keen spear fisherman William Knight, who starts to play an ever growing presence in Rice's life back in his old stomping ground.

Unlikely to appeal to those seeking a white knuckle thriller filled with guns, blood and jump scares, The Dunes much prefers thrills in the forms of the psychological and while at times it may be a frustrating experience in a narrative sense through parts of its early and middle stages, as the puzzle comes together in the final act and you begin to grasp just who is who and why certain things are happening, The Dunes offers some memorable moments and impressively staged payoffs that not many will see coming.

Lacking the killer blow or knockout punch that may've elevated it to the next level, while unable to produce a genuinely noteworthy performance, with Phillipp's leaving the biggest impression as the charismatic but also devious Knight, The Dunes isn't ever quite able to become the film it might've been had more stars aligned but it's an impressive effort from Copping who has shown here that he has what it takes to become a very exciting local talent behind the camera.

Final Say -

At times rough and unrefined, The Dunes remains an impressive independent Australian offering that provides a twisting and turning psychological story that will have you guessing right up until the final moments.

3 packets of Two Minute Noodles out of 5.

9 / 10

Support aussie films

Loved how this was set in Melbourne, Australia as I travelled there a few years ago and love the film Wolf Creek. It definitely had Wolf Creek vibes. It's not your typical Hollywood movie with frantic chase scenes and predictable jump scares but relied more on the story and character development. The Dunes flowed well from getting to know the main character to his hometown to then realising things are not what they seem. Clever plot twists and the film score was fantastic and helped build the tension all the way to the end. I really loved the music in this!

2 / 10


Ridiculous acting that is tedious and painful to watch. Unbelievable situations (especially the attending police) make this another cringeworthy film that Australia seems to be producing lately.

8 / 10

Martin Copping great

Funny how people complain about "terrible acting" when people arent "acting", they re just doing the hardest thing of all...being natural and present before the camera. Guess we get so used to what's actually over acting we dont see the real skill of just being.

You can see the difference as soon as the cops arrive, both terrible, a phoney feeling presence/ " acting a part"This is a solid offering really enjoyed it.