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  • Writer's pictureJames Rutherford

'Heavenly Creatures': A Captivating Psychological Drama Reenacting the Infamous Parker-Hulme Murder Case


Heaven Creatures movie poster

Heavenly Creatures (1994) is a captivating psychological drama based on the true story of the Parker-Hulme murder case in 1950s Christchurch, New Zealand. The film delves into the intense and complex relationship between two teenage girls, Pauline Parker (Melanie Lynskey) and Juliet Hulme (Kate Winslet), who become inseparable friends and create an elaborate fantasy world to escape their troubled lives.


Pauline is a shy girl from a working-class family, while Juliet is a charismatic newcomer from England. Drawn together by their shared love of literature, music and fantasy, they develop an intense bond that becomes increasingly obsessive. They create a fantasy world called Borovnia, populated by clay figures that enact elaborate stories the two girls write together. This imaginary realm becomes a refuge from their oppressive families, yet this exploration of their deepest desires becomes a dangerous fixation—isolating them from the outside world and fueling their growing resentment toward those who threaten their bond.


Co-written and directed by Peter Jackson (The FrightenersThe Lord of the Rings trilogy), Heavenly Creatures is a multi-layered real-world tale of horror that explores themes of adolescent identity, obsession and the power of imagination. Jackson's unique visual style seamlessly blends realism with the girls' fantastical imaginings, creating a mesmerizing and disturbing portrait of their descent into madness. It's a landmark film in New Zealand cinema and a haunting exploration of the dark side of adolescence and the destructive power of obsession.


 

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