Written by: Matt Molgaard
Greg McLean’s Wolf Creek films are exceptionally disarming, a direct result of a polarizing madman, a fact-based crux of the tales and the utter disregard for innocent human beings. Travelers traipsing about the Outback, in particular. McLean’s devised a method of manufacturing palpable fear that teeters on the border that separates exploitation from our own natural imaginations. Greg never ceases to generate suspense that will have the mind of the viewer in a whirlwind. He’s also not afraid to incorporate jaw-dropping similarities to a few notorious Australian serial killer cases (touchy material, potentially so, yes!).
If you’re not familiar with the Wolf Creek background, prepare to find yourself fully submerged in a strange world of fascinating grotesqueries; visit google and search for ‘Wolf Creek True Story’, you’ll pull up enough content to keep you reading for hours, and growing to really, really appreciate the level of research that Greg has invested in these films. He cares about making quality pictures. And he cares about producing the most realistic product possible. And, I must say, I applaud the man for his obvious devotion and willingness to approach content that can easily be considered taboo.
The story behind this film is essentially identical to the story told in the first Wolf Creek. Don’t get me wrong there are a number of differences between each production, but at the heart of it all, it’s still about Mick Taylor slaughtering and mutilating the vermin wandering about his neck of the woods. If you’re Mick Taylor, foreigners can fuckin’ die – end of story. But where the film differs drastically from McLean’s inaugural effort, is the sudden gratuitous turn in tide. Where Wolf Creek was certainly brutal, it left a lot to the imagination. Viewers weren’t required to watch every last cut to be repulsed by who Mick is. In Wolf Creek 2, McLean takes a few moments to go outright torture porn on us.
Frankly, I don’t see it as needed nor enhancing. Wolf Creek was an ultra-savage film that terrified for all the right reasons. Wolf Creek 2 is almost the perfect sequel, hindered only by a strange desire to dull the imagination’s exercise in favor of stomach turning visuals. I prefer to let the mind get lost in possibility, as that’s where fear really works its way under my skin.
Despite the fault as I perceive it, Wolf Creek 2 ends on an absolutely amazing climax. Mick’s showdown with English traveler Paul Hammersmith (actor Ryan Corr who earns an immediate fan in me as a result of what I’d label an absolutely pitch-perfect performance) is prodigious, displaying a deep assortment of emotions from both Mick and Paul. The dialogue is riveting (it’s a bit like some Aussie Tarantino magic) and the onscreen chemistry demands attention in a manner that few productions ever manage. It is, dare I say, a bloody and artful conclusion to a generally engaging picture.
I’m a genuine fan of McLean’s work, as I feel he understand what it takes to scare the shit out of viewers. As a life-long horror fan, that’s something that means something to me. In my mind, that tells me that Greg actually cares, which immediately earns utmost respect from me.
Will we see a Wolf Creek 3 sometime down the road? Hard to say. I’ll be in line if it happens; these are must see genre installments.