The Horror Zine
The Horror Zine Review

Down Under

A film by Ray Arthur Wang

Director: Ray Arthur Wang
Actors: Leah Bateman and B. J.
Studio: Raw Power Productions
Format: 2D: DVD/NTSC/Region 0, 3D: blu ray
Language: English
Release Date: currently on the festival circuit
Run Time: 8 min

Down Under Eye

Down Under Still

Down Under

Directed by Ray Arthur Wang

Reviewed by Jeani Rector

The film Down Under begins as a young woman wakes up to find herself crouched on the floor, black tape over her mouth and her hands tied behind her back. A mysterious second person enters the room, holding a black bag. You don’t see this person; only witness the actions of that person.

And the actions are gruesome. The victim is cut on the eye along with other tortures.

Then the camera pans away to reveal the fact that the perpetrator is another woman.

Down Under is a short film created by Ray Arthur Wang to publicize hate crimes committed against Indians in Australia. Inspired by true events, Down Under is a torture film that actually has depth and meaning, despite its incredibly short run time of eight minutes.

The Horror Zine does not normally review shorts, but made an exception for Down Under due to the director’s attempts to raise awareness on racially motivated hate crimes. Plus the film is also unique since its content is violence committed against a woman by a woman.

Down Under ends with a news broadcast that tells the true story of what actually happened in this case. It is a fascinating study of how hate crimes can be committed by both genders, even though society rarely considers this idea.

Director Wang specializes in films that are social commentaries on important human rights issues. His previous film was a documentary titled Tapestries of Hope, a feature-length film that exposes the myth of virgin cleansing (if a man rapes a virgin he will be cured of AIDS).

Down Under seamlessly mixes formats, with most footage shot HD (3D), with sizable chunks shot on 35mm film (2D). It is presented in square 1:1 aspect ratio and optimized for 3D, what Wang calls "cubic filmmaking" for its claustrophobic, trapped-in-a-box experience. Wang feels that technologically speaking, the film is ahead of its time, as he found out the hard way when submitting to festivals (most festivals were very hesitant since they don’t support 3D yet).

The acting in Down Under is very good. Leah Bateman as the victim is very convincing. In fact, my only complaint about Down Under is its length. I would have liked to have seen a longer version of this film.

Still, for a short, it makes a long impact on an important social issue.















Learn about the film HERE

About the Director

Ray Arthur Wang

Ray Arthur Wang

Self-taught filmmaker Ray Arthur Wang (pronounced Wong) is a director/ writer/ producer/ composer.

Raised in Livermore, California and now a resident of Las Vegas, Nevada, he was first intrigued by the art of filmmaking at the age of 11. Moved by La Nouvelle Vague (The French New Wave) of the 1950s-60s, Wang's artistic vision is inspired chiefly by the work of Stanley Kubrick, Ingmar Bergman, and Wong Kar-Wai. In 2004, he founded Raw Power Productions, Inc. with one main mission: social change.

No stranger to acclaim, Wang has received accolades for his winning performances in numerous piano competitions, including a solo performance with full orchestra at the age of 10. He holds a Ph. D. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science with music minor from UC Berkeley, and the 1999 National Electrical Engineering Honor Society's Most Outstanding EE Student in the Nation Award.

Having traveled to 42 states in the U.S. and 57 countries all over the world, Wang finds his greatest passion in making movies. From his Wikipedia page: On one of many stops on the film festival circuit, his feature directorial debut Carma was declared ‘Best Picture’ and Wang ‘Indie Auteur of the Year’ for his work as director, writer, producer, composer, and actor on his supernatural thriller. “Wang is a director to watch,” says Film Threat.

About the reviewer

Jeani Rector

Jeani Rector

While most people go to Disneyland while in Southern California, Jeani Rector went to the Fangoria Weekend of Horror there instead. She grew up watching the Bob Wilkins Creature Feature on television and lived in a house that had the walls covered with framed Universal Monsters posters. It is all in good fun and actually, most people who know Jeani personally are of the opinion that she is a very normal person. She just writes abnormal stories. Doesn’t everybody?

Jeani Rector is the founder and editor of The Horror Zine and has had her stories featured in magazines such as Aphelion, Midnight Street, Strange Weird and Wonderful, Macabre Cadaver, Ax Wound, Horrormasters, Morbid Outlook, Horror in Words, Black Petals, 63Channels, Death Head Grin, Hackwriters, Bewildering Stories, Ultraverse, Story Mania, All Destiny, and many others. Her book Around a Dark Corner was released in the USA on Graveyard Press in 2009.