Film Review: Wolf Creek 2

This film review was originally published on The Orange Post on 5th March 2014.

Back in 2005, I wandered into a screening of Greg Mclean’s Wolf Creek to discover that I was the only person in the cinema. What followed was a visceral horror experience that I loved and hated at the same time. Nine years later, John Jarratt’s iconic serial killer Mick Taylor is back and unfortunately, the shock value has gone and for horror fans it’s more of the same.

Wolf Creek 2 opens with everyone’s favourite ocker pig hunting psycho encountering a pair of highway patrol police. With Mick in the interesting position of the bully being bullied, I was hopeful for a change of direction in the franchise with the killer switched into the protagonist role, or at least being portrayed as the underdog.

An exploding head or two later, it became clear that this was not to be, as the audience was instead taken back to familiar territory, both figuratively and literally.

Remember that point in the Elm Street series where Freddy Kruger jumped the shark and transformed from a mysterious killer into a wisecracking comedy character? I would place it somewhere between the third and fourth instalments. With Wolf Creek 2, Taylor has already become a walking and talking cliche. Swear a bit then stab someone in the spine. Decapitate a backpacker and give us your catchphrase. Repeat ad nauseum for 106 minutes and you have yourself a box office hit.

As our doomed tourists, Shannon Ashlyn, Phillipe Klaus and Ryan Corr are perfectly fine, although a lack of introduction time meant that I cared very little when the stabby stabby stuff began. The charismatic Jarratt once again disappears completely into his most famous character to date. With his unnerving laugh and hatred for all things carrying a backpack, Mick Taylor deserves a better second outing.

For the majority of the film, there is simply no tension. The claret flows freely but besides a few wincing moments of gore, there is little to make you want to watch through your fingers, unlike the original. A road chase scene harking back to Steven Spielberg’s Duel and the final twenty minutes which involves a pub quiz with the highest stakes ever are suggestive of a much more terrifying experience that I would have preferred to see.

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Published in: on April 6, 2014 at 22:52  Leave a Comment  
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