Lemon Tree Passage is a 2014 Australian horror/thriller film that was directed by David James Campbell and is his feature film directorial debut. The film received an Australian release and stars Andrew Ryan, Tim Phillipps, Pippa Black, Jessica Tovey, and Tim Pocock as a group of backpackers that find themselves in the midst of strange occurrences.
A couple of Australians introduce three American backpackers to the local legend of Lemon Tree Passage where a ghost of a motorcyclist warns young drivers to slow down. After seeing the ghost first hand they uncover a malevolent force that possesses the area and threatens to wreak havoc on the final days of their vacation. Isolated and ten thousand miles from home, the tourists find themselves caught in the clutches of an evil force much more heinous than the local myth believed.
Lemon Tree Passage contains examples of:
- Car Fu: Maya is compelled to release the handbrake on Sam's car, causing it to roll downhill and crash into the tree Amelia is tied to.
- Cell Phones Are Useless: The protagonists discover that their cell phones stop working on Lemon Tree Passage Road.
- Couldn't Find a Pen: The ghost writes "FIND HIM OR I WILL" on the kitchen wall in blood.
- Cue the Sun: ends with Jordan and Maya walking along the road out of the bush with the sun rising behind them. This signifies that the night, and the nightmare they have been battling, is over. This is further cemented when they find their car and it starts first time.
- Death Trap: Toby is left tied up in a death trap that is designed to be triggered by his friends when they come looking for him: dropping a deadfall that will then hang him.
- Don't Go Into the Woods: Most of the action takes place in dense bush at night, when the protagonists go searching for their missing friends, and become easy prey for the malevolent force looking to pick them off.
- Driven to Suicide: When confronted with his part in the rape and murder, Sam kills himself; seemingly destroying the ghost in the process.
- Electromagnetic Ghosts: The ghost interferes with electronics; causing Sam's car radio to start blaring, switch channels, turn off, etc.
- Ghost Story: The Americans and the Australians are telling scary stories around a fire on the beach. Oscar then tells the story of Lemon Tree Passage Road, which inspires everyone to check it out to see if its real. Unfortunately for them, it is.
- Hands-On Approach: Jordan gives Maya some hands-on advice while teaching her how to bat in cricket.
- Inspired by...: The film is inspired by an urban legend of a ghost light that chases speeding cars along an isolated stretch of road in country New South Wales. While this is depicted in the movie, none of the other events have any connection to the legend.
- My Car Hates Me: When Jordan stops his car to search for Oscar, he then finds it will not start again. The next morning, after their terrifying night in the bush, it starts fine.
- The Place: Lemon Tree Passage is a stretch of road where the haunting occurs.
- Psychic Nosebleed: Maya develops a nosebleed when the ghost light appears beyond the car, even though she doesn't see it. This appears to be a manifestation of unknown psychic powers (she has strange visions that no other character experiences), but it is never explicitly stated.
- Punk in the Trunk: Oscar vanishes while standing in the centre of the road looking for the source of the light. Jordan later finds him in the boot of his car. Asphyxiated.
- Rape and Revenge: The angry ghost is the spirit of a young woman who was raped and murdered; lashing out to inflict vengeance on any who come near enough.
- Scary Flashlight Face: Amelia does this while telling a scary story round the bonfire on the beach. She offers it to Oscar when he starts his story, but he dismisses it, saying he doesn't need special effects to be scary.
- Showing Off the New Body: When Maya is possessed by the ghost, the ghost comments on how stupid Maya's name is, but then adds that the body does have nice legs.
- Suicide by Sea: The ghost compels Maya to commit 'suicide by lake': making her walk off the end of a jetty and into a lake, where she sinks like a stone. She survives.
- Urban Legends: The film starts with Oscar and Jordan telling the American tourists the (actual) urban legend about Lemon Tree Passage Road: that a motorcyclist was killed there by a car driven by speeding teenagers, and now a ghost headlight chases any car that speeds along that stretch of road at night. They later decide to see if the legend is true.