The Aussie drama Stephen King loves
IF anyone knows the merits of suspenseful, haunting drama, it's Stephen King, the author of classics Carrie, The Shining, Cujo, Pet Sematary, Misery, Dolores Claiborne and It.
"If you liked Sharp Objects, you'll like Picnic at Hanging Rock even more," King tweeted as the Amy Adams-led drama reached its stunning conclusion this week.
"It's spooky, atmospheric, beautiful. And Natalie Dormer is amazing as the malignant Mrs. Appleyard."
In the series, the sensational Natalie Dormer (Margaery Tyrell in Game of Thrones) plays Mrs Hester Appleyard, a formidable Victorian headmistress who runs a no-nonsense school for young women in 1900s rural Australia.
It's all pretty straightforward teen-type stuff, until one day her charges venture out on a Valentine's Day picnic to the unromantically titled Hanging Rock. Things take a swift left turn when three of her students - Irma (Samara Weaving), Marion (Madeleine Madden), and Miranda (Lily Sullivan) - and her maths teacher Miss McCraw (Anna McGahan) wander off and vanish without a trace.
Did they simply want out from their strictly corsetted life and decide to leg it? Or was there something more sinister, perhaps paranormal, at play?
Some mysteries are better left unsolved but if it's good enough for Stephen King to sing its praises - and indeed it is - no doubt the powers that be are feverishly working on a plot for a potential second season.
Picnic At Hanging Rock is available on Foxtel On Demand.