"Wake in Fright" is a monster movie, and the monster is us.
Ty Burr - Boston Globe
A road movie using undeveloped land as a blank screen on which to project a dark deconstruction of masculinity and manifest destiny.
Karina Longworth - Village Voice
It is powerful, genuinely shocking and rather amazing.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
A Conradian parable of a man succumbing to the wild, the film is remarkable for its raw, pointed dithe suggests, and you'll find the beast concealed behind the mask of propriety.
Drew Hunt - Chicago Reader
Wake in Fright is essential viewing for anyone interested in the roots of male violence.
Tirdad Derakhshani - Philadelphia Inquirer
Wake in Fright is the closest a movie can get to a primal scream.
Rex Reed - New York Observer
A legendary and controversial Aussie classic, although it's long been available only in poor-quality video releases.
Andrew O'Hehir - Salon.com
Australian tale of a holiday gone wrong has a potent, distinctive creepiness.
John DeFore - Hollywood Reporter
"Wake in Fright" is true horror.
Robert Abele - Los Angeles Times
This movie gets under your skin.
Sean Burns - Philadelphia Weekly
Wake in Fright is an absolute must-see for fans of cult, off-kilter cinema.
Adam Lowes - HeyUGuys
Blends staged re-enactments with documentary footage of senseless slaughter to extremely distressing effect.
Mark Kermode - Observer [UK]
Brilliantly directed by Kotcheff, the film has the disorienting and menacing quality of Joseph Losey films such as Accident and The Servant.
Geoffrey Macnab - Independent
It presents a world in which refusing a pint has violent consequences, high spirits quickly curdle, and an unspoken homoerotic undertow gets ever more disturbing.
Tim Robey - Daily Telegraph
Forms a neatly symmetrical, perfectly Kafkaesque narrative. This way madness lies . . .
Tara Brady - Irish Times
derives its brand of feral menace not from monsters, masked killers, or any of the other avatars of conventional horror, but rather from a sober-eyed perspective on a society reeling under the malign influence of its own basest impulses.
Anton Bitel - Film4
Perhaps slightly schematic in charting the descent of man, but it induces a sweat that's hard to wash off.
David Jenkins - Little White Lies
The kindness of strangers has never seemed more terrifying than in this dusty, sun-bleached masterpiece, now stunningly restored.
Lewis Porteous - The Skinny
There is queasy undercurrent of sentimental kindness and indulgence beneath the violence.
Throughout we feel like we are watching a real world, with the extensive use of real locations and real outback dwellers, where none of the professional actors breaks the spell.
Mark Stafford - Electric Sheep
Shocking, credible and hard to forget.
Philip Kemp - Total Film
Few films were ever so bright and so dark at once.
Hannah McGill - The List
If you have any interest whatsoever in discovering the true classics of Australian cinema, there are far worse places you could start than with Wake in Fright.
Like the majestic camera movement with which it opens, Wake In Fright is a film that travels in slow, inexorable circles, presenting its paranoid nightmare of entrapment as Kafka down under.
Anton Bitel - Grolsch Film Works
The movie is a combination of existential horror story (a man winds up in a small-town hell and can't leave) and an examination of male violence and the ease with which men can fall into it.
Jay Stone - Canada.com
This tale of sun-baked savagery has lost little of its audacity or ferocity while it languished unseen.
Jason Anderson - The Grid
The raw, sweaty 1971 film is not a pretty portrayal of life in the outback, where men are crude, hard-drinking mates with no ambition beyond rough-house fun...
Sean Axmaker - Parallax View
Brutal, but in a deceptively causal manner, Wake in Fright submits one the sharpest depictions of Outback life I've come into contact with, imagining the vast land as a sun-baked prison from which there is no escape.
Brian Orndorf - Blu-ray.com
A movie that shows us plenty of unsettling stuff but also knows that what viewers imagine is much more disturbing than what any movie can show.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
Many reissues claim the mantle of lost masterpiece, but Wake in Fright is the genuine article.
Sam Adams - Philadelphia City Paper
Animal lovers, beware.
Kelly Vance - East Bay Express
This outrageously overlooked masterpiece is a wake-up call to film scholars who will now have to rethink what came first ‒ this film or Peckinpah's 'Straw Dogs," which basically charts the same territory?
Glenn Lovell - CinemaDope
Several decades later, it still chills.
John Hartl - Seattle Times
A neglected gem.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Wake in Fright" works both as an early instance of "Ozploitation" cinema and as a harsh critique of Australian colonialism and the absurdity of trying to bring so-called civilization to this vast arid wilderness.
Marc Mohan - Oregonian
Kotcheff, working from a novel adapted by Modesty Blaise screenwriter Evan Jones, ratchets up the sick humor and ghastly ribaldry to nail-biting heights.
Marc Savlov - Austin Chronicle
Orchestrates landscape, music, demonic faces, and lots of blood, sweat, and vomit into a stark bacchanalia of men having fun.
Peter Keough - Boston Phoenix
In some ways "Wake in Fright" is like an Australian "Deliverance," except this is one man's journey and he participates in the debauchery and savagery.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Unlike many "lost" treasures, Wake in Fright lives up to its nightmarish reputation.
Maitland McDonagh - Film Journal International
Kotcheff's beware-the-backwoods thriller takes an unholy pleasure in watching Bond, an actor who always looks as if he's just bitten into a maggot-filled peach, devolve from full frontal dude-ity into a beast.
David Fear - Time Out
The film's vision of masculine self-sufficiency is built around--and on, via Australia's own bloody colonial history--an elemental violence.
John Semley - Slant Magazine
It's the sort of movie they don't make any more, and ONLY made in the '70s.
Luke Y. Thompson - LYTRules.com
Wake in Fright remains powerful both as a portrait of a particular place at a particular time and as a potent assertion of the country's mindset.
Jeremy Heilman - MovieMartyr.com
Shot with a feverish feeling for heat and madness that's worthy of Borges.
Fernando F. Croce - House Next Door
A riveting film with exceptional relevance today in its cultural veracity and its observation of not just outback Australian society (if you can call it that), but in human nature.
Andrew L. Urban - Urban Cinefile
What a treat to see this remastered 1971 Australian classic that depicts a particular part of the Aussie culture so beautifully.
Louise Keller - Urban Cinefile