For Australian director Damien Power, “Killing Ground” all started with an orange tent “in the bush.” He wondered, “What happened to the people in the tent?”
The story for Power’s debut thriller grew from there, ultimately debuting at Sundance at a midnight screening. It’s a thriller about a couple who come across an abandoned tent in the woods and a lost toddler, with their fortunes souring.
“I like thrillers, because you have ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances, and the stakes are high. There’s nothing quite like that buzz when you’re in the cinema,” Power told TheWrap CEO Sharon Waxman. “You can feel everyone sinking into that journey. Then there’s a pivotal moment and change, where you can hear the gasps and oh nos, and from then on it gets increasingly vocal.”
“Killing Ground” recalls ’70s survival thrillers like “Deliverance” and “Straw Dogs.” The film stars Aaron Pedersen, Ian Meadows, Harriet Dyer, Aaron Glenane and was recently acquired by IFC Midnight. The film was produced by Joe Weatherstone & Lisa Shaunessy.
“Once you’re out there in that wilderness so far from civilization, you feel completely alone and the rules don’t apply,” Power said. “In a big way, the film is about my fears as a parent for my kids. Would I be able to protect them if we were under threat?”
Watch the full interview in the video above.