"Wolf Creek" is a "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" knock-off that almost works, but the movie gets carried away too easily. This is why torture porn/slasher films are seldom art; because they're stupid. I know that I should be one to praise the technical craft included in this gruesome package, but it doesn't help the film much. "Wolf Creek" simply has too many flaws for me to forgive the relentless amount of sadistic action on display. It's a mess through and through, even if the cinematography is spectacular and the film is joyously bloody. Honestly, I've seen too many of these types of films to sympathize for their exploitation skills. "Wolf Creek" may have worked in the days of the mighty Grindhouse, but not so much now. We don't WANT exploitation films. We want substance, for crying out loud. I can totally understand someone looking at "Wolf Creek" and thinking, "Wow, this is surprisingly crafty". Beauty is, in fact, in the eye of the beholder. Why do you suppose the film's killer takes pleasure in sadism? He does it because he sees it as a beautiful thing. I however, do not. That explains why I just didn't like "Wolf Creek". On the bright side, you'll get your money's worth of torture and sadism, but then again there's not much more than that aside. What bothers me is that much like films such as "Hostel", "Wolf Creek" is artistically directed but fails to rivet the audience. Instead, it tends to disturb. Plus, it's a direct rip-off of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre", although in that sense it's probably better (and probably worse) than it should be. Take it as you will.
Two girls meet a man named Ben at a party and decide to travel to Wolf Creek, Australia with him for the Holiday. The plan is simple: a trip abundant with booze, partying, and good times abound. But what was once a simple trip turns into a nightmare when the car breaks down and a trucker offers to tow the lot to a place where he can patch it up. As it turns out, the trucker is a sadistic serial killer who is the cause of over 30,000 disappearances in Wolf Creek alone. "Wolf Creek" is advertised as another horror movie based on "true events", and like most films of the like, it isn't actually based on truth whatsoever. Influence is not truth, and "Wolf Creek" must have had plenty of the former. However, advertising your film as a "true story" with such ease is like a crime, and it's becoming somewhat of a gimmick despite its genuine rarity these days. Nevertheless, not much story is needed for a movie like this. It's all sadistic torture and endless games of cat and mouse. This film seemingly has no real source of entertainment for me personally, since it's not a true thriller nor is it particularly scary. It will surely disturb the hell out of most people since in fact, it does feel realistic, but that's more of a flaw than a reason to see the film. I don't feel as if my intelligence was insulted while living through the experience, although I didn't feel as if the film did it much justice either. Sadly, the experience goes to waste. I would not watch "Wolf Creek" again-not because it disturbed me-but because I simply didn't find it to be the sneaky bastard that some have claimed it is. I guess if you can get into it, then it might as well be a decent but obvious knock-off of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre". The trouble is that it's not nearly as entertaining or artsy as that film, and in so many ways it is an unsuccessful attempt at a clone. But aren't they all?
For a slasher film, "Wolf Creek" sports a cast that actually isn't half bad. Nathan Phillips gives a performance worthy of his mediocre talent, unlike his work in "Snakes on a Plane". Cassandra Magrath is sort of spunky, but not enough to make her memorable in terms of slasher victims. Kestie Morassi is also fairly decent. John Garret is good as the killer, although there is a flaw in his performance. He gives his role in the film away too early and too obviously. You know he's the killer from the moment you see him. But then again, he's got the sick sense of humor that a killer needs, and that counts for something last time I checked. That a modern slasher film can have a solid cast is surprising, but then again it's Australian. So it's got to be somewhat unique, right? I would think so.
On a small budget, director Greg McLean manages to create a technically impressive production. "Wolf Creek" features its share of stunning cinematography throughout, which helps it to be somewhat entertaining in a good number of scenes. However, the film plunges into an eternal darkness of sadism and torture, and that bothers me. "Wolf Creek" does well as making the average human being want to regret eating their lunch before giving the film a spin, but that's never a really good thing. Perhaps genuinely sick bastards like myself will enjoy it, but then again the question remains: why didn't I enjoy the movie? For what it was, "Wolf Creek" is better than most films of its type. But it's still pretty generic slasher/torture-fare, and that makes it a rather negative exception to the genre. It looks excellent technically, although the production values don't pay off well. The film is simply an exploitation of violence. Some will say it is art, and others will not. I am not one to say that it's art, although it's not total crap either. I just didn't enjoy myself a particularly solid amount of the time, and that's why I kind of have to label "Wolf Creek" as a disappointment in my book. Don't get me wrong; I love blood as much as anyone does. But it doesn't make a movie better, does it? In this case, it actually makes it worse. "Wolf Creek" suffers from a disturbing amount of spills and not enough genuine chills. Also, it's not scary. That's the truth, and arguing against that would be a completely foolish action.
There are those who will support "Wolf Creek" for reasons I do not know. Is the entire world inhuman? Are we all savage gore-hogs who want nothing more out of a film than an exploitation of violence? These are not films; these are not art. These are merely movies that think they are art, and in doing so they go all the way with the exploitation of sadism. But what is their art? Some say brutality itself is an art in filmic terms. If it's not art in reality, then why should it be on a cinematic level? People are simply confused and therefore will vote in favor of "Wolf Creek"; regarding it as a horror film. That's right, a horror film. I disagree, for I have seen films that exploit true fear. This film does not do that. "Wolf Creek" is bloody and gory throughout, but blood and guts does not equal fear. On the bright side, McLean doesn't go overboard with creative brutality, but then again the film feels very gratuitous. I do not care if others enjoy it: I simply did not. You can call it brutal; you can call is entertaining. But you want to know what I call it? I call it stupid. That's what I call it. The film doesn't need to exist, and the only purpose it serves is to scare squeamish little teenagers and terrify unassuming adults. It will have trouble finding an audience of true intelligence, for these films always do. That is precisely why they do not need to exist, and the slasher genre cannot be revived therefore. Do I care? Does it matter? Both answers lead to a big "no".
WOLF CREEK may not be a film for everyone to see, certainly not children, but if you're up for a taste of the macabre then this well made horror movie is certain to please. The most terrifying aspect of the story is that it is based on true incidents, incidents in Australia that carry the same degree of impact as the Manson murders or the Hillside Strangler. Murder and Madness are well married. A lively group of young daring travelers decide to take a camping trip to explore … more
I really don't know how much of "Wolf Creek" is actually based on the Backpacker Killer of Australia, but even if a tinge of it is true, it makes for a good horror tale. Mind you, this isn't your typical hack n' slash Freddy or Jason flick, this film is about a demented man who just enjoys torturing and killing people. There is some gore, but I've seen a lot worse. Besides, gore doesn't make a movie scary, it's the PLOT that makes it scary. A number of things set "Wolf Creek" … more
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … more
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Wolf Creek, written and directed by Greg McClean, is theBlair Witch Projectof the Australian outback. Capitalizing on the human fear of becoming lost in the wilderness, in this case a desert crater called Wolf Creek National Park, this graphic horror film exploits the handheld camera to capture the grotesque actions of Mick Taylor (John Janatt), a sadistic serial killer. When a hip twenty-something guy, Ben Mitchell (Nathan Phillips), and two hippie-ish girls, Cassandra (Liz Hunter) and Kristy (Kestie Morassi), take a road trip and their car breaks down, they have no choice but to accept help from Mick, an eccentric rural Aussie, who, like a spider, tows them into his nightmarish lair. Mick hunts kangaroos and hates tourists, translating his fetish for knives, shotguns, and other torture devices into a need to kill humans as if they're vermin infesting his majestic landscape. Ample blood and gore leave the viewer feeling nearly as sick as the girls who are forced to watch each other die. Like Hannibal Lecter inThe Silence of the Lambs, Mick Taylor is a savvy, calculating killer, despicable but psychologically fascinating.--Trinie Dalton