Wolf Creek (2005)
Reviewed on 2007 February 11
God what a frustrating movie. It could’ve been amazing. It turns into another slasher flick, good for its genre but still only OK.
This is loosely based on some real-life events that happened in the Outback and New South Wales. Liz Hunter and Kristy Earl (Cassandra Magrath and Kestie Morassi) go on a holiday with their friend Ben Mitchell (Nathan Phillips). It’s a long drive and after a rest stop at a dive populated with Deliverance extras, they make it to Wolf Creek, a meteorite crater park. The beautiful scenery takes their mind off the creepy locals and they spend a day enjoying themselves. The park looks eerie at nightfall though, and they want to get out of there. Unfortunately, they can’t start Ben’s car. They’re trapped there until someone comes to rescue them, and they’re in for a very long night.
Some people criticized the initial slow pace of the movie, which didn’t bother me much at all. You got to know (and therefore sympathize with) the characters and it heightened the tension. I also thought the trio was very brave. My problem was with some of the later plot devices. You know how in horror movies it’s a common staple for people to keep doing stupid things? Wolf Creek starts out carefully avoiding that, with Ben and the others making sure his car runs, packing provisions, making sure his gas tank is full — it was cool. Writer and director Greg McLean seemed to think of every bone-headed cliché so he could avoid it…until the terror starts. Then some of the characters do a series of bone-headed moves that made my jaw drop. I know people do dumb things, I’m really good at it myself. But how creative — and more frightening — would it be to see the victims in trouble even when they did everything right? Or at least have the flight response put them on auto-pilot? Still, the acting is very good and it does give us one of the scariest bad guys I’ve ever seen.
Two chocolate morsels.