Wolf Creek 2

DIRECTED BY: Greg Mclean
WRITTEN BY: Greg Mclean, Aaron Sterns
STARRING: John Jarratt, Ryan Corr, Shannon Ashlyn, Philliipe Klaus
RATING: 3.5 stars

Wolf Creek 2 carries on from the original, except much of the suspense is gone in the sequel, replaced with just more gore and violence. The moral of the story is essentially the same – don't be a dumb tourist, don't hitch-hike, and if you're going to the Australian outback make sure you have a plan. The enjoyable aspect about both these films is that they explore the eerie danger of being in the middle of nowhere and having to rely on the kindness of strangers. It is a terrifying thought that the person you turn to for help could be a crazed murderer – and tourists thought all they needed to worry about was the heat and spiders!

The other sad reality that the films highlight is that there are a lot of people who go missing in the outback. While the first film felt almost like a cautionary tale loosely based on a true story, the sequel just feels like it is milking the concept for a lot more than it is worth. It also claims to be based on true events, but it does not feel in any way real. Nonetheless, it is still strangely entertaining to watch these deer in a headlight victims struggle against a psychopath.

John Jarratt returns as pig shooter and serial killer, Mick Taylor, and he is just as creepy in Wolf Creek 2 as he was in the original film. In this film, Mick's character is further developed but almost becomes a parody. His reason for torturing backpackers is because he is a racist believing tourists are invading Australia. Director/co-writer Greg Mclean also dragged out one torturous scene, which caused it to lose some of its suspense by filling about 10 minutes with an Australian quiz and limerick battle between Mick and one of his victims. It was a bit lame.

The other cast of victims including Ryan Corr, Shannon Ashlyn and Philliipe Klaus are also very good and even though we do not have a lot of time to get to know them, we still feel some empathy for each one. The same cannot be said for a pair of policemen slain at the start of the film, but we do not need to know much about them. You could almost champion Mick for those killings because they are not the nicest law enforcers. In fact, that sequence could almost be a stand-alone short film. It was fantastic.

The outback landscape is captured beautifully throughout the film and the music is also used to good effect, whether it is being used to contrast horror or humour. I enjoyed the film, but it was about 15 minutes too long. Nonetheless, I would probably watch a third instalment.