The US rated R version lacks compared to the unrated version – contrary to popular opinion – not only two extended action scenes but also has two censored violent scenes. In fact they are typical for the American Censorship! To what extent it results for the movie is up to the audience decision. I personally think the rated R version is more fluently and can get easily over the violent cuts. Particularly they don’t even get anybodies attention or are missed in any way!
The movie is based on the backpacker killings in Australia during 1989 and 1992 where especially the case of the murderer Ivan Milat was the force behind the screen-play. But the occurrences shown in the movie have never been taken place in this way and the characters are all fiction. Nevertheless director and screen writer Greg McLean (ROUGE) created an evil terror movie which scores especially with convincing characters. The dialogs in the original version are convincing as well as the three leading actors who soon achieve the audience sympathy. And in return John Jarratt as Mick Taylor completely loses himself in his performance and evokes goose pimples. But also behind the camera fresh spirits are at work and surely will catch our attention in future: The young Connelly Make-Up F/X-Team created some good effects, cinematographer Will Gibson who shows the broad expanses of Australia like for a commercial and Francois Tétaz who composed a powerful score. The shock effects are rare but extraordinary effectively deployed. All in all it’s a terror movie the better way and always worth a fan’s glimpse.
Compared has been the rated R version (Dimension) with the Unrated Edition (Dimension)featuring the following details:
There is a party the night before departure. A short sequence has been inserted in the unrated version. Kristy wakes up noticing Ben who lies right beside her in bed. She seems confused and sneaks out of the room. She then returns to her room, churns up her bedclothes, gets her stuff for the morning shower and leaves the room again. The next scene is at the beach where all three lie side by side. The rated R version interacts more fluent and plausible at that point: party -> beach. After the inserted scene in the unrated version the question comes up: why for heaven’s sake these three suddenly lie at the beach?
( 102 sec. )
The longest insert in the unrated version: After Liz walked back to the yard she spent more time scouring it. In the garage (where Kristy was held captive) she regards the wall covered with newspaper cuttings and finds a revolver. After she found the bullets and loaded the weapon she again walks back into the yard soon realizing another shed. Entering the shed there is a ladder leading into a vertical tunnel. She climbs down and discovers remains of previous victims and then escapes horrified from the shed. With the locating of the cars both versions run again synchronic. ( 230 sec. )
Due to alignment reasons there are some alternative scenes in the rated R version! ( 6 sec. )
The total difference is ( 224 sec. )
Rated R Version:
The disembodied fingers can be viewed clearer and roll a little longer over the floor.
( 1,5 sec. )
When Mick stabs Liz to death another close-up view of the penetrating knife as well as a frontal view of the yelling Liz is missing.
( 3,5 sec. )