Wolf Creek (2005) – Danielle Kirkland

As a dedicated fan of any film which involves horror, gore, brutality and spookiness, I found great delight in watching ‘Wolf Creek’, certainly a film with a purpose and much potential.  I give immense credit to the director in his skill in depicting the torture, mutualisation, barbaric tracking and terror in all three characters.  The pure sickness and disturbing thoughts captured by the serial killer, Mick Taylor (John Jarret) is enough to cause anyone to up seat themselves and turn their backs on the film, especially in the scene where he proceeds the sever the spinal cord of one of the female characters with a blade and then refers to her as ‘a head on a stick’.

This film is bound to give even the most seasoned gore seeker the chills and do little to the tourism industry for the Australian Outback.  Facts are projected at the beginning of the film to back up its ‘based on true events’ theory about the number of people going missing in the country.  And is it really surprising, by the number of clapped out old buildings in the Australian Outback that a few could be forgotten about and even left of the map?  Well this is the unfortunate case for our three characters; tourists, seeking a fun packed adventure with booze and cigarettes in the popular destination of Wolf Creek, a hiking based nature park segregated around a large crater in the Outback.

With the subtle use of camcorders and with a small group of three, twenty something adults heading to start their own adventure, we are reminded of the worldwide phenomenon ’The Blair Witch Project’ and this film is certainly just as terrifying, as they begin their compelling odyssey to the giant crater.

The three tourists are made up of two British females (Cassandra Magrath, Kestie Morassi) , and their ruggedly handsome Australian companion (Nathan Phillips).  Having occupied a battered old car, they enjoy drinking, partying and waking up on the beach until they begin their exhilarating journey to their destination of Wolf Creek. 

The terrific thing about this film, is the way in which Greg McLean builds up tension, curiosity and terror all at the same time throughout the first half of the film, taking his time carefully to develop the characters, plot and the location of the film, which pays off by giving the audience the knowledge that something unpleasant and horrific is about to happen to our three tourists.  While the characters are oblivious to the fact and continue to squabble, play instruments, laugh and even build up romance between our English character ‘Liz Hunter’ and Australian rouge ‘Ben Mitchell’.  I give astonishing credit to Greg Mclean, as this move could of easily resulted in a dull, pointless and even boring production, but instead portrays an amazing example of how to create suspense in any film.

Wolf Creek is created with a impressive cast of actors and actresses who act well together and are obviously at ease with their roles and the beautiful, lush scenery of the Australian Outback.  Which appears both enticing and serene as well as being menacing and vengeful.

However, when the expected is upon us and the film takes and change in tone, it never quite reaches the height in which we could of hoped for, as all we want to do is scream and shout at our central character, Ben Mitchell when he makes an irrational and idiotic choice after their car has broken down, and appealingly kind truck driver, Mick Taylor offers them a ride to repair the car in the dark and nerve twitching time of night.  Anxious and frightened, our characters are towed back to the residence of the new, Australian character.  In the eyes of the tourists he is a miracle in disguise, but in ours he is a nightmare waiting to erupt. 

Taken and tied to various objects, our characters awaken terrified and confused.  Liz Hunter succeeds in freeing herself of her ties and sets off to find her lost companions, encouraged by Screams of longer haired character, Kristy Earl, she spies her friend being tormented by knives and the subtle hint of sexual harassment is introduced, which is left tasteful and does not ruin the film, like many recent films do while going over board and turning into more of a porno than a good horror film.  Horrified by what she is seeing, Liz somehow manages to harm serial killer, Mick Taylor with his own gun and the couple make a run for it while stealing his truck only to run it over a cliff and trick him into thinking they have reached their doom.

But the film doesn’t end there, of course not.  Many more happenings proceed and the film continues to center around the escape of Kirsty as she makes a bid for escape down the main road, only to result in her own death by the hands of Mick Taylor’s gun.

If that wasn’t enough to scare you, then we continue to discover what has happened to our male character, as we find him tied up to a wall with nails shot through his wrists and a cage of vicious, hungry dogs before him.  We continue to watch how Ben Mitchell uses adrenaline to pull himself from the nails and flee from the desolated, scrap yard like residence of Mick Taylor.

The ending?  Well if I told you that then I would ruin the whole point of watching this perfectly made, butchering horror.  In my personal opinion, I enjoyed the viewing of this film immensely and although it failed to shock me ultimately, I am still yet to find a film that will, so don’t let that put you off.  I would recommend any horror enthusiast to watch this production and I can assure you that you won’t be disappointed.  As with any film it does have its flaws, but I can surely say that its positives out way the negatives.