Wolf Creek (2005) John Jarratt, Cassandra Magrath, Kestie Morassi, Nathan Phillips Movie Review

Wolf Creek (2005)   2/52/52/52/52/5

John Jarratt in Wolf Creek (2005)

Never Talk to Strangers

Liz (Cassandra Magrath) and Kristy (Kestie Morassi) have headed to Australia and accompanied by Ben (Nathan Phillips) start travelling around seeing the sights, stopping at the end of the day to campy and party if they come across one. Having driven through the baren lands to the site of a meteor crater known as Wolf Creek the threesome head out to look around only to return to their beaten up car to find it won't start. Fortunately Mick Taylor (John Jarratt) shows up in the dark of night and says he will give them a tow back to his where he will fix the car for them.

I've heard of the 80 20 principle but writer and director Greg McLean has his own 60 40 principle or at least that is how it seems when you watch "Wolf Creek". For the first 40 minutes what we get is low budget tourist stuff as we follow around Liz, Kristy and Ben as they drive around Audtralia, sleep on the beach, swim in the sea as the sun comes up and so on and on and on. Yes this is all done to establish these three characters but 40 minutes of this is mind sapping and whilst it attempts to establish a mysoginistic climate in the outback with creepy old men making leud comments when they stop off at a watering hole it does little to generate the impending doom atmosphere which it is obviously striving for.

But then there is the 60 minute part and maybe if you enjoy watching women suffer then this will be entertaining but it is wrong for me. Yes what McLean has achieved on a small budget is impressive purely on making the most of the money but what he does doesn't work for me. And the trouble is that the build up doesn't establish anything meaningful so when the horror starts it is just that horror, visual nastiness with nothing to connect us to the characters.

What this all boils down to is that an exercise in making a movie on a budget "Wolf Creek" impresses. But as a horror movie which entertains it doesn't work for me and seems at times just some horror with out depth or meaning which probably appeals to those who just want to be repulsed but not for those who seek more from a movie.