I had heard a lot of good things about Wolf Creek. I had heard that it was a very underrated film and that it was one of the best in recent memory. The case had quotes from both Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino. “As real as horror gets” – Robert Rodriguez and “John Jarratt delivers a performance that is destined to go down as one of the great horror film heavies of the last 25 years.” – Quentin Tarantino. Two statements like that ensured that I would be seeing the movie. It actually took me a while to find a copy of it to review.
After the first few minutes my impression of the film got about as far as: these characters are cliché as hell and this shaky cam is really unnecessary. The movie is filled with really unnecessary shaky cam.
There is some talk of UFOs and other supernatural stuff, but it feels very out of place. The rest of the movie seems to be heavily grounded in reality and these moments are few and far between so I think it is concept that didn’t go anywhere. The script underwent a lot of re-writes so maybe the supernatural elements panned out better in the original script.
Throughout this whole lead up in Wolf Creek I was thoroughly unimpressed. Things started to get much more interesting once John Jarratt entered the scene. John Jarratt plays the antagonist, Mick. Tarantino was right. This guy’s performance and really Goddamn good. He’s the bad guy, but he’s so much fun to watch. You don’t really like his character, you don’t want him to win and kill these people but you can have a good time watching him. He tears up the screen and completely steals the show.
Now unfortunately I found John Jarratt’s performance to be the only saving grace of this film. The only reason to watch this is the character of Mick. Yes the film is often criticized for being disgusting and depraved, and yes it’s gory but that doesn’t really bother me. The problem is that it also doesn’t intrigue me. The gore in this film will turn some viewers off and it is not a reason to watch this movie. It’s not THAT gory. Nor is the gore used very effectively. There is one incredibly strong performance and one very effective scene which is right about in the middle of the film. The film peaks early on and I did not find Wolf Creek a fulfilling experience.
Each of the 3 characters escape with relative ease and may or may not be recaptured later on. Due to this the movie is divided into sections. The audience follows one person until they meet their fate and then it jumps to the next person and we’re to believe that they were just sitting there doing nothing this entire time.
I’ve heard Quentin Tarantino say that Australian films are infatuated with car chases, that any movie made in Australia has a car chase somewhere in it no matter how out of place, and that may very well be true since there is actually a car chase thrown into Wolf Creek.
The characters for the most behave realistically given their circumstances. They don’t do anything too irrational or make dumb cliché decisions aside from one exception. There is a part where two of the escaped girls get a truck and start to drive off. They end up pushing the truck off of a cliff to make Mick think they died. There is no reason why they couldn’t have just driven off in a different direction. that moment really took me out of the movie.
This is one of the movies that is “based on true events” but it really isn’t at all. It’s like the Strangers. Wolf Creek was written as a slasher film and then the writer heard about some backpack murders and incorporated it. If anything Wolf Creek is based off of two separate killers and doesn’t really relate that much to either. The movie also doesn’t do a very good job on convincing you that it is true. SPOILER ALERT the two women die and only the guy gets away. Now the thing is, is that these people were drugged and when they woke up they were in separate locations. The girls find each other and both die, but the guy is in a completely different isolated place and he never sees them or finds their bodies. This means that even if it was a true story and this one guy did get away, everything after they get drugged I.E. most of the movie, would still have to be completely fabricated because the movie also states that the killer and the bodies of the girls were never found, so nothing outside of what the guy goes through (which isn’t very much) would be 100% made up for the film.
Wolf Creek had some good moments, but overall I didn’t find it to be a worthwhile endeavor.
If you want to see for yourself you can get it on Blu-ray by clicking right HERE and keep checking back all October long for a new review everyday with this year’s Macabre Month of Horror.