Director: Greg Mclean
Writer: Greg Mclean
Cast: Nathan Phillips, Cassandra Magrath, Kestie Morassi, John Jarratt
[/slash colleagues cornholio1980 reviewed it here and Maynard Morrissey here.]
Liz (Cassandra Magrath), Kristy (Kestie Morassi) and Ben (Nathan Phillips) are carpooling together – Liz and Kristy are tramping through Australia while Ben just wants to get back to Sidney to his girlfriend. They have a long drive ahead and only a few sights they want to stop at. One of those sights is Wolf Creek – a meteorite crater in the middle of nowhere. Unfortunately it is right there that their car breaks down. They are lucky though – or so it seems at first – when Mick (John Jarratt) picks them up and promises he can fix their car. But a night in a dead car in the outback is nothing compared to what’s in store for them.
Wolf Creek was ok. The acting was decent, the set-up nice but then I got a little bored by all the gore and torture (what a horrible sentence to write). It all got a little too much for my willingness to suspend my disbelief or to be interested at all.
I thought that the film did a good job setting up the characters and their relationships with each other. Kristy’s and Liz’ friendship in particular, but also the budging romance between Liz and Ben. I really liked them, which is always a good thing in a horror movie.
But then the film started to hit wrong notes. First there was the classic “hillbillies scare the kids” scene that I have seen so often by now, I can’t help but roll my eyes at it. Also, I hadn’t read much about it before watching (I only knew that they were going to play Wolf Creek 2 at the /slash Filmfestival and wanted to do my homework by watching this one first) and when Ben keeps on talking about aliens, their car and cell phones break down at the same time – next to a meteorite crate no less, I thought that this would actually be a direction they’d take (since I know that “based on a true story” doesn’t actually mean “rooted in reality”). But it seems that these little hints were only given so that you’d think for an instant that the light of Mick’s car is actually an UFO. And that only works if you read nothing about the film in the first place which I assume not a lot people do, so that was kind of a weird thing to do.
These were the first missteps. The film recovers a bit after that with nicely setting up (again) the situation at Mick’s. But then it falls apart even more. Sticking with Liz and her perspective for most of the film is a nice idea but since that meant hearing nothing of Ben until the very end, it made the entire situation awkward. Why make me care about Ben only to not show him anymore? Plus, it made the perspective switch to Kristy a little weird. Also it meant that we got a good half hour of the two female victims suffering extensively at the hands of Mick, while the male victim’s suffering – he is certainly in a bad spot and that is putting it mildly – isn’t shown. That smacks of misogyny and a certain voyeurism that I could have done without.
And the gory bit was just so long and the longer it went on the more they lost me, my interest or my suspension of disbelief. When Mick shoots the guy about to save Kristy from like kilometers away, I was already too done with the film to care. There were some nice bits there, but they were far from enough to make the film really nice.