Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Wolf Creek

Director - Greg McLean (Wolf Creek 2, The Belko Experiment)
Starring - John Jarratt (Rogue, Django Unchained), Cassandra Magrath (Crash Zone, Scare Campaign), and Kestie Morassi (Darkness Falls, BeastMaster)
Release Date - 2005
Genre - Horror
Tagline - "The thrill is in the hunt"
Format - DVD (Personal Collection)

Rating (out of 5):

     By this point everyone has heard of the highly successful Australian horror film Wolf Creek.  When It was first announced way back when I was not impressed by what I saw.  The movie looked bland, boring, and lacking originality.  However, after several years a friend of friend recommended I check it out.  He was a tool but I didn't have anything better to do so I decided to give it a go.  I was thoroughly impressed by what I saw.  So much so that when the sequel was announced I had to grab a copy.  Not long ago I received word that Wolf Creek was getting a television adaptation.  I was curious how that would play out.  Would it be a continuation of the film series or would it be a reimaging?  Or would it just take place in Wolf Creek and everything be completely different?  I had more questions than answers.  The show came and went and not long ago I received a press release for the DVD release.  I had to jump on it and requested a screener.  Once I got it in I decided to go through both films before I watched season 1.
     The film follows three backpackers who are making their way through Australia's famous outback.  They are able to purchase a cheap set of wheels and get it running before heading out on their cross country adventure.  They visit the famous Wolfe Creek Crater and their car breaks down.  The set out to camp the night before hiking back when they are approached by the helpful Mick Taylor (John Jarratt).  He offers to help them out and takes them back to his place to repair the car.  When they wake they find themselves in his torture palace and must fight Mick and the Australian outback in order to survive.
     When I first swathe previews and trailers for Wolf Creek I was under the impression that it was a slow moving torture porn.  Most of you may have noticed by this point that I am not a fan of torture porn or pointless gore flicks.  Torture and gore are great, please don't get the wrong idea but I need it in context to the story.  Not torture and gore for the sake of torture or gore.  Films that lack story but are full of torture or gore is boring as fuck.   Wolf Creek is one of those rare films that is able to combine torture with the cat and mouse slashers that most of us grew up watching.  The acting in this one is inconsistent.  Most of the cast does a decent job in their roles but they are not memorable or stand out.  I'm not saying they are bad actors.  Their roles were very demanding and they pulled through to give the viewer some solid performances but they are overshadowed by John Jarratt's performance.  I know this is an unpopular opinion but Jarratt's role as Mick Taylor is easily the most charismatic killer in movie history.  Even more so than Bales' American Psycho performance.  He absolutely killed it and his performance alone is what made this film so iconic.  The story for this one is a smooth mesh of torture and slasher with a lot of charisma tossed in.  The film has a very slow start but about one third of the way into the movie it picks up tremendously and enters the torture portion of the film which was very well done.  Instead of the boring cliched scene of someone being tied to a chair while they are tortured, we get scenes of the characters unfolding around them that helps move the story along without killing the viewer with boredom.  It is after this is established that the film plays out like the classic cat and mouse slasher except we already know who the killer is.  The story is so well written that you find yourself holding your breathe as you watch the three try to escape.  Finally, The film has several on screen kills that are very brutal and graphic.  The film doesn't have a lot of gore but the effects we get are top notch.  My biggest complaint is that the kills we get are nothing new or imaginative.  Sure, they are comical at times but they are nothing that stands out over other movies similar to it.  Overall, Wolf Creek is one of the essential horror films of the 2000s.  It is very underrated and deserves its rightful place in horror history.  Check it out.

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