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The Horseman

Sponsored by: SuperClub Vidéotron

Canadian Premiere

  • Australia 2008
  • 94 min
  • HD
  • English
WINNER: Best Australian Film/Best Director, Melbourne Underground Film Festival 2008
Official Selection, South by Southwest 2009

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“One of the most intense, powerful, and aggressively compelling films I've seen in quite some time” — Scott Weinberg, CINEMATICAL

“Very badass” — Harry Knowles, AINT IT COOL NEWS

“While THE HORSEMAN will have viewers squirming in their seats, its take on the workings of vengeance is remarkably responsible, rooting our discomfort in its ethical challenges as much as its visceral thrills” — Anton Bitel, EYE FOR FILM


Director: Steven Kastrissios
Screenplay: Steven Kastrissios
Cast: Peter Marshall, Brad McMurray, Caroline Marohasy, Jack Henry
Producers: Rebecca Dakin, Steven Kastrissios
Distributor: Kastle Films


Christian Forteski (Peter Marshall) is an exterminator by trade. These days he’s out to slaughter a different kind of perceived pest. His addict daughter was recently found dead of an overdose. She died shortly after performing in an amateur porn video. It’s all too much for Christian to come to terms with. He deals with his anguish by lashing out at everyone and anyone he thinks may be responsible for leading his girl down the path she chose, embarking on a to-the-death mission of pure, blistering vengeance against Australia’s underground porn community. He will beat, he will burn, he will tear limb from limb. He’s not remotely concerned about getting maimed or even killed in the process. And he’s not much of a listener.

A red-hot fire poker of a film, THE HORSEMAN is a modern incarnation of the classic revenge thriller stripped to its purest, most punishing elements. Its protagonist is a victim of circumstances who has had almost every trace of his humanity corroded by pain. His acts of vengeance are frightening, unstoppable and remorseless. In ways, Christian can be seen as a terrifying depiction of a reactionary right-wing mindset taken to the most disturbing extremes, blinded by an unflinching point-of-view that refuses to allow him any degree of understanding or empathy. He kills some very bad people, no question about that, but not everyone deserves what they get, and that’s where the film really begins to haunt. A meaner, less forgiving version of Paul Schrader’s HARDCORE, THE HORSEMAN is a film packed with many a cringe-inducing moment, but its stabs that cut the deepest are anchored in the almost animalistic fury of its grief. A caustic debut from filmmaker Steven Kastrissios who, at the age of 26, wrote, co-produced, directed, edited and even colour-graded the film.

—Mitch Davis

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