Director: Greg Mclean
Starring: John Jarratt, Ryan Corr, Sharron Ashlyn
People that saw the 2005 Australian horror Wolf Creek will agree that Mick Taylor (John Jarratt) is the most horrifying Aussie to grace cinema . Some would say the most horrifying person.
Wolf Creek followed a group of 3 backpackers who encounter Mick and then slowly killed off one by one. One of them escaped and the film closed with Mick walking off into the sunset. Fans hoped for a sequel for years and finally they have been rewarded with one even better than the original.
The film opens with two police officers pulling over a truck because they’re bored. They mess around with the driver, lie and tell him that he’s been speeding, and tell him to get his car off the road because it looks like it’s fallen off a cliff. It’s a shame that these cops stopped this truck in particular and told him to get back to his part of Australia as within the next 5 minutes Mick has killed them both. This guy really hates foreigners! If he offers you a lift in the outback it’ll end in one of two way: you either agree and he kills you slowly or you decline and he kills you then and there. The next 20 minutes of the film is still all introduction following two German backpackers who camp near Wolf Creek. Having declined the offer of a drive into town, Mick kills the male but the female escapes and is picked up by a Brit named Paul (Ryan Corr). As can be expected, the girl dies and Mick decides he’ll pursue Paul instead. Everyone that Paul comes into contact with dies and he is captured by Mick only for the film to get weird.
Paul wakes up with his hands and feet tied to a chair with Mick promising to torture him. All of a sudden Paul starts telling jokes and singing Australian songs in the hope that he won’t die. Mick loves it, joins in with the singing, and gives him an Australian pop quiz allowing him the chance to escape. With his hands released so that he can drink, Paul progresses through the quiz and loses two fingers. He answers the final question and escapes by hitting Mick with a hammer and runs into a lair. Paul discovers numerous dead bodies and traps before being caught by Mick yet again. The film ends with Paul being set free.
Wolf Creek 2 is more enjoyable film than the previous one. The main downfall of the first movie was trying to establish a relationship between two of the characters which lasted for 10 minutes. The horror and action begin straight away instead of halfway through the film and Jarratt is the central character. He gets more screen time which is essential as he is the stand out actor in the film. His performance keeps you on the edge of your seat from start to finish as you never know which game he’ll want to play next. The Australian quiz was as good an addition as the ‘Head on a Stick’ from the first film and you almost believe that he could be the good guy. He does admit in the first film that he uses condoms when he’s with the girls that he’s kidnapped. That’s something at least. Maybe not? The focus has shifted from the victims and to the perp as he’s the character that we care about.
Both films capture the Australian landscape beautifully and the films are worth watching just for that. The characters, action, and gore are an added bonus. That’s why people visit Australia. That’s why people die in Australia at the hands of Mick Taylor. Wolf Creek 2 gives us Mick’s motives for ruthlessly killing anyone that he comes across which does allow the audience to sympathise with him. Although he kills everyone, rapes women, and terrorises the public, he isn’t just doing it all because he’s a psychopath. There’s some method to his madness. Not much though.
What sets these films apart from other ‘true stories’ is that they claim to be based on actual events and not to be true stories. Mick is based on three Australian murderers and so the film seems all the more scary because of it. If it was a true story then it would probably have not got a release.
Wolf Creek 2 changes tone from its predecessor and this works wonderfully. With word that Wolf Creek 3 is already on the horizon, people should check this film out encase the sequel is worse. Making a sequel to a cult hit is hard enough but making two seems like an impossible task. Considering how superior this instalment is, it seems certain that director Greg Mclean can keep this franchise going for some time yet and with each film feeling as fresh as the original.