Melbourne: A new study conducted has revealed that the growing horror movie industry in Australia could effectively keep the tourists away.
Researcher Mark David Ryan of the Queensland University of Technology says the rich, unique landscape of this country often serves as a major character in horror films.
"Horror films hold up a mirror to the dark aspects of a given culture, or underlying cultural fears and anxiety, and in the case of Australian films it is often about a hostile landscape, nature taking its revenge, and also of a fear of outsiders," the Daily Telegraph quoted him as saying.
"Often, in Australian horror, the victims are foreigners, backpackers, or outsiders from the city, and one of the key themes emerging within the horror genre is that Australia is a dangerous place for a holiday," he said.
Dr Ryan said this theme has been explored in Aussie fright flicks such as Wolf Creek, Rogue, Storm Warning, Lake Mungo, Long Weekend and Dying Breed.
He said horror movies with a distinctly Australian flavour were also effective when shown to international audiences, but sadly their success may also keep visitors from visiting.
In February, an Australian tourism conference was told Europeans had an image of Down Under as a place full of deadly snakes, spiders, stingers and sharks.
The image was perpetuated through TV shows such as ``I``m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here``, in which participants are sent into the Australian "jungle".
Dr Ryan said that while the horror genre might dissuade some tourists, it could attract others.
"The movie Wolf Creek put Wolfe Creek on the map as a tourist destination," he said.
The Outback Australia website confirms that Wolfe (Wolfe) Creek National Park "received little attention in the past, but has now become hugely popular through the release of the Wolf Creek murder movie".
"For adventurers and people who want a unique experience in the outback it might be a drawcard, but for others it might not be," Dr Ryan said.
"In some cases it does add to the mystique of Australia," he added.