for the record, the meteor crater national park featured in Greg McLean’s horror
franchise is actually called Wolfe (with an “e”) Creek and it is found in northwestern
Australia, whereas Mick Taylor terrorizes backpackers around the similarly
named Wolf Creek somewhere to the south. We would not want prospective visitors
to be confused, even though his grisly business is hardly likely inspire
tourism. The outback will indeed get bloody again in McLean’s Wolf Creek 2 (trailer here), which opens
today in New York.
you’ve got your bloodlust up, you might need to crack open a few Fosters to get
through this one, but if you were taken with the first film, Taylor basically
delivers more of the same. However, McLean almost invites viewers to identify
with the sadistic pig hunter, when two corrupt highway patrolmen try to shake
him down during the prologue. Needless to say, they pick the wrong psycho-stalker
to play games with.
long, Taylor is up to his old tricks brutalizing foreign tourists. Initially,
it seems like the film will focus on the woes of two German hitchhikers,
Katarina and Rutger, but McLean soon switches the focus to the hapless British
grad student, Paul Hammersmith. Needless to say, that does not bode well for
Katarina and Rutger (who does not live up to the example of his namesake,
Rutger Hauer in The Hitcher).
are a few cleverly executed moments in Creek,
but (mild, screechingly obvious spoiler alert) McLean never lets us vicariously
enjoy the hunted turning the tables on the hunted, because Taylor is the franchise.
Therefore he must always walk off into the outback sunset.
it never seems like a fair fight. Taylor’s violence has a pronounced misogynist
bend, but he also typically preys on skinny Euro kids. To mix things up, he
also takes it to the elderly this time around. It would be a lot more
interesting to see him face off against some sort of special forces veteran,
who could lethally improvise.
of viewer sensibilities, one has to admit John Jarratt really digs into the
role of Taylor. He has become sort of a twisted cult icon, but his career goes
back to Picnic at Hanging Rock (as
Albert Crundall, the valet). The rest of the cast is serviceable enough, but we
all know they are just grist for the mill.
Each installment of Creek incorporates elements of recent true crimes, making it sort
of the Australian version of Law &
Order, by way of Eli Roth. Cinematographer Toby Oliver frames some striking
shots of the crater and surrounding environs, heightening the lonely, forsaken
vibe, but the film is too consistently brutal to be any fun. It is probably
best to avoid Wolf Creek 2 and the fanbase
that will come out when it opens today (5/16) in New York at the AMC Empire.
Labels: Australian cinema, Horror Movies, John Jarratt, Sequels