Wolf Creek makes you wonder why people put themselves in the role of ‘hiking tourist’ at all. I mean, you have spend all this money to visit someplace where the locals might not be so friendly, you might get sick from the food, you can’t watch the game in HD, you may be sleeping in primal conditions, and to top it all off, you might get raped, hunted and murdered by a sadistic madman. Although Wolf Creek only borrows from two actual murder cases (it’s banner touts "based on true events"), it’s so vivid and sharp, it seems like an extremely well made docu-drama.
The beginning of the film gives writer/director
Greg McLean the opportunity to show his chops, with crisp, funny dialogue between tourists Kristy, Ben and Liz – three pals in their twenties, who have set out to hike through scenic Wolf Creek National Park in the Australian Outback. Their trouble starts when they get back from a visit to a large crater, only to find their car won’t start and their watches have eerily stopped.
Hours later, freindly Aussie Mick (played to terrifying perfection by John Jarratt) roles up in his truck, and offers them a tow to safety.
After hours of be pulled along a stark, dusty road, night falls and they start to feel that this tow to safety is taking far too long. But soon after, they arrive at an old mining camp and Mick offers them some drinks and a bit of rest. From that moment on, the film reveals its true face… a dark, tension-filled menagerie of violence and torture, that would make Jason Vorhees squirm in his chair.
Wolf Creek owes much of its effectiveness to director McLean, who gives Mick Taylor a neo-Australian feel, that never sits quite right, as apparent in the continuous and odd chuckles from him at the campfire scene, which is one of the best in the film. There are moments that will make even the most die-hard horror fan cover his eyes. Taylor is part Mad Max, part Michael Myers; a rabid dog, hunting his prey in mathmatical, systematic fashion. We truly feel for these three hikers, knowing they are no match for someone far beyond vicious, who uses his environment to his advantage. It’s as if Taylor simply rose from the Australian desert sand and started hunting human beings from birth.
Wolf Creek is a horror movie that concentrates brilliantly on what horror films lack and becomes an introduction to Australian fright cinema for horror fans, although I am not sure if there is actually much horror coming out of the country, which makes the film even more special.
Actors: John Jarratt, Cassandra Magrath, Kestie Morassi, Nathan Phillips, Gordon Poole
Writer/Director: Greg McLean
Format: Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada)
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Number of discs: 1
Studio: Weinstein Company
DVD Release Date: April 11, 2006
Run Time: 99 minutes
Available Subtitles: Spanish
Available Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Commentary: Greg McLean, executive producer Matt Hearn and actors Cassandra Magrath and Kestie Morassi
Other Features: "Making of Wolf Creek" featurette, Deleted scene, Trailer
Purchase Wolf Creek on DVD RIGHT HERE
Review by Rene Carson, editor, Film Fetish.com. © 2006.