Saturday, 26 July 2014

Wolf Creek 2 (2013)

John Jarratt returns to the role of deadly Mick Taylor in this enjoyable sequel to Wolf Creek, but fans of the first movie should be warned ahead of time that this is quite a different beast, in some ways. The subtlety and slow burn of the first movie are gone, replaced with some grand guignol and entertaining outrageousness.

There's very little plot to speak of. Taylor is driving through the outback, looking for the opportunity to have his own particular brand of fun whenever he spots potential victims. He kills some people, and then finds things a bit more challenging when he sets his sights on a young man (Paul, played by Ryan Orr) who finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Once again written and directed by Greg Mclean (with Aaron Sterns joining in as co-writer this time), it's made clear from the opening scenes that viewers are in for a very different ride. Wolf Creek was interested in the victims, and the growing horror of realising just how alone and vulnerable people can be while travelling in any foreign land, whereas the sequel is all about Mick. He's not necessarily turned into a figure of fun, but he's certainly always entertaining while he goes about his nastiness.

Jarratt is great, as anyone would expect after seeing his performance in the first movie, and Ryan Orr is likable enough as the potential victim. There are other people who come in and out of the movie, but the main thrust of the film centres on Jarratt and Orr, and it works because of the way in which the two different personalities seem to spend so much time toying with one another.

Some people have preferred this to the first movie, and it's easy to see why. It's not as slow, there's plenty of blood 'n' guts on display, and it's just a more fun experience, overall. However, I felt punched in the gut a few times while watching Wolf Creek, and that's something I'll always give it extra credit for. This sequel may be more in line with full-on slasher movies, making it easier to be entertained by, but that means that it feels more generic and "safe" than the first movie. Which is a shame.

This is certainly worth your time, and I'd be lying if I said that I wouldn't look forward to a third trip to the creek.


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