Scrublands: not a whodunit but a ‘howcatchem’, a new suspenseful Aussie inversion of the genre

In 2020, Stan announced its endeavour to produce 30 original series filmed in Australia over the next five years. A particular focus of the network is crime productions. Scrublands is just the latest, joining Black Snow (2023) and The Tourist (2023), in addition to remaking the popular Australian feature films Wolf Creek (2016) and Romper Stomper (2018). Scrublands is also on familiar ground, joining several other adaptations of small town Australian crime novels like Peter Temple’s Broken Shore (written in 2005 and adapted in 2013) and Jane Harper’s The Dry (written in 2016 and adapted in 2020). In his original novel, Chris Hammer masterfully presents an epic tale of a dying town. He meticulously details its struggles where the op-shop opens only twice a week, the hotel shuts down and the Black Dog Motel is the sole accommodation, with a strict “no animals allowed” policy.