Wolf Creek, Wolf Creek 2, Wolf Creek 3
Wolf Creek (Greg McLean, 2005) wr. Greg McLean, prod. David Lightfoot, dp Will Gibson, ed. Jason Ballantine; John Jarratt, Cassandra Magrath, Nathan Phillips, Kestie Morassi, Andy McPhee; a group of backpackers unwisely accept help from a seemingly friendly local in the Australian outback; John Jarratt is a seemingly harmless man who meets three backpackers in remote Western Australia; loosely based on Ivan Milat and Peter Falconio stories; shot in Adelaide and Flinders Ranges; world premiere Sundance Jan 2005; Cannes 2005; horror; 98 min.
Loosely based on the real-life Ivan Milat and Peter Falconio stories, this comes to very scary life with the astonishing performance of John Jarratt - one of the best in Australian film, yet not rewarded in the AFIs that year. Hugo Weaving won it for Little Fish. Jarratt was robbed, and he knew it.
Wolf Creek 2 (Greg McLean, 2013) wr. Greg McLean, Aaron Sterns, prod. Helen Leake, Steve Topic, dp Toby Oliver, ed. Sean Lahiff; John Jarratt, Ryan Corr, Shannon Ashlyn, Philippe Klaus, Gerard Kennedy, Annie Byron; another unwitting backpacker becomes prey for crazed, serial-killing pig-shooter, Mick Taylor
John Jarratt is wonderful, possibly topping his performance in the first one, tho this one has less good humour. In fact, that is one big difference between the two films. Number one was unique in its mixture of human interest and genuine, sympathetic horror. Number two is more 'generic', and falls weakly back on some conventions of horror films (such as the head half shot off in the opening sequence) and road movies (car stunts, crashed, burning vehicles). There is even an egregious intrusion from the zombie movie in the last sequence, in Mick's ridiculous underground 'lair'. The film would have been better without this whole last quarter of the film. There would have had to be some kind of ending, but it could not have more disappointing than the one we have, which simply repeats the ending of the previous film, but done one-tenth as well, again with (cop-out) words on the screen, and with a remarkably ineffective final shot of Mick in the landscape. Which makes one reconsider all the cinematography, to find nothing much good about any it. Ditto the editing. A second-rate genre film. (Cf. the second Long Weekend, not a patch on the first.)
The initial critical reception for Wolf Creek 2's release at the Venice Film Festival was mostly positive. The Hollywood Reporter summarised the story thus: 'A psychopathic serial killer and his knife carve out an edge-of-seat gorefest that follows safely in the tracks of its predecessor.' Variety's review commented that the movie was "neither as striking nor as fundamentally scary as its predecessor" but was "still quite a ride, and one that genre-inclined distribs should have no qualms about hitching." The film currently has a score of 50% on Rotten Tomatoes. The film was released theatrically in Australia on 20 February 2014 taking over $2.2m at the box office, making it the no. 1 film in its opening week. Wikipedia
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