With a storyline that sees a vengeful father torture and kill the men responsible for the death of his daughter, low-budget Aussie drama The Horseman could easily have been a brainless gorefest. That it turns out to be so much more is testament to the skill of director Steven Kastrissios and the commitment of lead actor Peter Marshall.

The former Sea Patrol star throws himself into the role of Christian, a Brisbane pest controller who is hell-bent on tracking down the blokes who pumped his daughter with drugs and put her in a porn flick. In between cracking skulls and twisting genitals, Christian shares a few tender moments with Alice (Marohasy), a runaway he takes under his wing.

Putting his body on the line, Marshall bounces off the walls during some hugely realistic fight scenes. It’s not just a muscle-bound performance though, as the actor shows subtlety when a broken Christian talks to Alice about his daughter.

The script is a tad derivative but the tension builds nicely, making this one helluva calling card for Kastrissios and Marshall.

Good for: Those who aren’t squeamish.