|Can you really get away with murder? Welcome to the world of Katrina Skinner, a 19 year-old coke snorting single mum who is planning to do just that. Katrina lives in a world of petty crime, fast cars, manicures and blowjobs. Her mother abandoned her years ago. The neighbours are scared of her. The police can’t keep up with her. This master manipulator of men and women lives at home with her father in suburban Golden Grove, Newcastle. Katrina will stop at nothing to get what she wants, even murder. Her father John, has finally had enough of his lying, thieving daughter. With his son Danny in jail for murder, he wants what's best for his granddaughter Bailee. When her father threatens to stop helping her financially and take away her child, she sets in motion a plan to wreak suburban mayhem that will shock the community and make Katrina infamous in a way even she could only dream of.|
"Barclay is one of the best young stars to explode on to the screen in some time. She brings an important realism to this
character, who could have easily become a caricature. You get the impression that beneath Katrina's tornado-like exterior
rests a sad and lonely little girl. Paul Goldman's direction is creative and stylish, borrowing the tone of "Chopper"; his
film operates as both a drama and a very black comedy. Alice Bell's screenplay is witty, shocking and original. "Suburban
Mayhem" is one of the best Australian movies of the year. 4 1/2 STARS."
Mark Beirne YOUR MOVIES
"Wild and out of control, she's rebellion in a mini-skirt. Hell in high heeled boots. Emily Barclay's Katrina is a wonderful invention, her sexy, bold exterior masking a cold, heartless vamp who instinctively manipulates everyone around her. We know she is bad in the true sense of the word, but we can't help but be fascinated by her."
Louise Keller URBAN CINEFILE
"It's almost like she's got the potential to be, you know, an iconic Australian creation, you know, that's going to go down in cinema history, I think, this one. For me, it is one of the best if not the best Australian film of the year. 4 1/2 STARS."
Margaret Pomeranz ABC AT THE MOVIES
"This exhilarating film, directed with suitable anarchy by Paul Goldman, is so brave. It walks a dangerous line between comedy and alienation and, because of the convincing performances, delivers a perfect balance. You have to give credit to director and cast. They are all just superb, but Emily Barclay is simply mesmerising as the demon Cat with Michael Dorman, Anthony Hayes, young Mia Wasikowska, Robert Morgan and Genevieve Lemon wonderfully solid around her. This is one of those films where I was sitting forward on my seat thinking I'm just blown away by this. 4 STARS."
David Stratton ABC AT THE MOVIES
"It’s an episodic, often unruly trip that works thanks to a black comic streak, Goldman’s energetic and stylised direction
and Bell’s scabrous anti-heroine Katrina. These elements are personified as more than the sum of their parts in a
sensationally out-there performance by Emily Barclay. She throws caution to the wind to create a character who’s an
unstoppable force of nature – Hurricane Katrina, perhaps. Barclay makes her sexually alluring and repellent, street-smart
and bone-stupid, always a heartbeat away from a venomous hiss or a vulnerable howl. The world revolves around her. The film
does, too, and it’s at its most vital when Katrina’s at her blackest unrelenting moments."
Michael Adams EMPIRE MAGAZINE AUST
"New Zealand actress Emily Barclay, who burst onto the scene in the acclaimed drama "In My Father's Den", gives such a tour-de-force performance in "Suburban Mayhem" that you will still be thinking about it weeks later. It's Oscar-worthy. 4 1/2 STARS."
Mark Beirne YOUR MOVIES
"I was speechless...Katrina is so amazingly narcissistic you have to love her!"
"The filmmakers possibly mean Katrina to be emblematic for all sorts of negative currents running through Australian and Western societies -- lawless youth, widespread cynicism and self-absorption. Granting that, the film offers neither a critique of those societies nor a reason to celebrate a psychopath. "Mayhem" is well produced with a swift pace, vigorous camerawork and solid production design along with occasional bursts of rock music."
Kirk Honeycutt THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
"Where another director might have demonstrated genuine empathy with Katrina by using Alice Bell's script as the basis for a full-blown satirical Gothic nightmare, Goldman seems keen to show that the suburbs are also inhabited by people of sanity and goodwill, drawing good but incongruously naturalistic performances from Genevieve Lemon as a family friend and Mia Wasikowska as a manicurist who reluctantly becomes Kat's downtrodden sidekick."
Jake Wilson THE AGE