Rhiannon Irons, a.k.a Ahlephia, here with another in-depth review of the latest Australian horror movie. This review contains major spoilers of the latest instalment of the WOLF CREEK franchise; WOLF CREEK 2.
“The outback is crazy this time of year…”
This review will provide you an in-depth look at the film, including random fun facts. But be warned, there are spoilers ahead.
Firstly, the storyline. While similar to the original movie, WOLF CREEK 2 provides the audience with a real thrill as the opening sequence is jammed packed full of action as two very bored highway patrol officers sit in their car, radar gun out the window. Along comes Mick in his beat up old truck. Technically, he is under the speed limit, but the cops are bored and decide it’ll be fun to chase him down and issue him with a speeding ticket.
Yeah, that was a great idea.
Mick can’t believe his luck, but he plays it pretty cool, joking with the police, making them believe he’s a lot dumber than he really is. Admittedly, the police are rather rude to him, and do deserve the fate they are bestowed. As they drive away, after issuing Mick with a ticket for speeding, we hear a distant shot and in less than three seconds, the officer driving loses his head. The other officer (played by Shane Connor) freaks out, grabbing a hold of the steering wheel before the cruiser speeds off the road, down an embankment and into a ditch.
Suffering from a suspected broken leg, the remaining cop manages to exit the vehicle before Mick appears, snapping his leg and slamming him against the now beat up cruiser. An eerily similar scene to the first film, Mick pulls out his knife and plunges it into his back, creating a new ‘head on a stick’ before placing the cop inside the car, covering it with petrol and setting it on fire with his smoldering cigarette.
From there we come across a young German couple, Katarina (Shannon Ashlyn) and Rutger (Phillipe Klaus). They’re backpacking their way around the country, visiting unique sites that Australia has to offer. Sadly, their idea of backpacking involves hitchhiking. (Fun Fact: This is how Australian serial killer, Ivan Milat, picked up his victims)
They have a brief run in with Mick before they meet their demise. He stops to offer them a ride, but sees another truck in his mirrors and speeds off before they had a chance to climb into his car.
Later that night, after losing their cool over a car that refuses to pick them up, Katarina and Rutger intend on spending the night at the Wolf Creek Crater. Mick sees their camp fire while travelling along the dusty road and decides to go in for a closer look.
After introducing himself, he offers them a lift to town but Rutger politely refuses. This doesn’t sit well with Mick and soon we see his expression change. The eyes narrow before he grabs Rutger and stabs him in the lower back, seemingly to create another ‘head on a stick’. Katarina flies out of the tent to her boyfriend’s side as he lies motionless on the ground. Mick sees her as a simple plaything, quickly tying her hands in front of her before attempting to rape her. As soon as he removes her panties, he’s hit in the back of the head by a large stick. Katarina sees this as her chance to escape, except she doesn’t run, instead opting to cry and scream as she slowly backs away. Rutger is alive and able to move. Mick made a mistake and tries to rectify that, quickly getting into a fist fight with the young German.
Rutger is no match for Mick Taylor, outback legend, and soon finds himself with a slit throat. As Katarina screams in the background, Mick is seen hacking at the body until Rutger’s head comes clean off. Muttering to himself that killing the German tourist was almost harder than killing a pig, Mick turns his attention to Katarina.
After briefly knocking her unconscious Mick is seen carving up Rutger’s body, commenting on various body parts including his penis stating that he “must be part donkey” and it would bring a tear to her eyes.
While he’s busy, Katarina slowly comes to and sneaks off into the outback, barefoot in hopes of escaping the sadistic Aussie.
Mick chases her with his truck but she manages to escape onto the road just as British tourist Paul (Ryan Corr) comes driving along. Wanting to help the distressed woman, he loads her into his Jeep and begins a terrifying yet thrilling car chase through the darkness of the outback. (Fun Fact: Ryan Corr was the recipient of the prestigious Australians in Film ‘Heath Ledger Scholarship’ in 2011)
Mick is successful in catching the Jeep, but ends up opening fire with his rifle at it, shooting Katarina in the head, killing her instantly. Paul manages to escape, dodging further bullets that Mick fires.
Knowing he’s off his game, his aim lacking the pin-point accuracy we’ve come to know, Mick decides to catch the hero in another manner.
As the sun rises and Paul realizes how lucky he is to have survived, he makes his way back to the main road. He runs into car trouble with smoke beginning to filter from the engine. He tries to flag down a passing car which simple ignores him. Like Rutger before him, Paul swears at the car, calling the driver a “Prick” before turning around to see a large truck looming in the distance.
Off screen, Mick has killed a truck driver and taken his rig. Paul realizes this and hastily climbs into his Jeep, willing it to start, as another highway chase takes place. For those that are squeamish when it comes to animals being killed, you may want to look away from the screen at that point as a group of kangaroos jump onto the road, hitting the big rig as it rumbles past, trying to run Paul off the road. (Fun Fact: The kangaroos are CGI. A roo actually hitting a car would do as much damage as if your car was hit by a moose)
After being forced over the embankment and surviving the crash, Paul stumbles from the car screaming gleefully that Mick will have to do better than that. The truck suddenly appears, rolling down the hill, aimed at the Jeep. Paul manages to avoid the explosion but is seen limping away from the crash site by Mick.
After wandering around in the outback for hours and collapsing, Paul discovers a farm house in the middle of nowhere. There he seeks refuge with a couple.
Mick finds him, killing the couple in a brutal fashion (do we honestly expect anything less) before capturing Paul while riding a horse. He uses a bullwhip to render Paul unconscious. (Fun Fact: I haven’t seen that good of use of a bullwhip since Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman in Batman Returns)
As Paul awakes, he finds himself tied to a chain in a lair that is eerily familiar. Not the same one from the original but with implements of torture hanging from the walls and seemingly no way to escape, Paul is almost giving up hope.
Mick returns and Paul begins bantering with him, singing Australian folk songs and talking about how wonderful Australia is. Mick seems to be eating this act up and decides to offer Paul a deal. A trivia game called Australian History. Ten questions and if he gets five correct, he can go. If he gets one wrong, Mick will use an angle grinder to grind off one of his fingers. Ten fingers; ten questions.
Paul is knowledgeable and gets all the questions Mick asks correct. The problem is, Mick doesn’t like this and proceeds to remove a finger after question number four just to prove he’s still in charge. Then comes question number five to which Paul repeatedly responds with the wrong answer. When Mick raises the grinder, Paul begs him to do it to the other hand as there’s a hammer lying just to his left. Mick obliges, grinding off the left index finger. As he leaves the room, Paul grabs the hammer then waits for Mick to bait him. As Mick turns away, Paul clobbers his head with a hammer before breaking free of the remaining binds that hold him to the chair.
He spits on Mick before revealing the correct answer to the last question Mick asked.
He turns and runs down a labyrinth of underground tunnels, discovering bodies of Mick’s past victims, often women, chained to the walls.
Mick taunts him from a distance, calling out to him, teasing him. Paul sees daylight ahead except that, after being chased by hungry dogs, that it’s a trap. He lies in wait, hoping to push Mick into the trap and escape to freedom.
After pushing the last remaining survivor from the labyrinth of tunnels into the spiked pit, Mick knocks Paul out before leaving him on the side of the road.
After being the person of interest in a police investigation, Paul is deported back to England where he remains in a mental health facility as a permanent resident. Mick, just like the last film, is seen walking off into the outback, ready to kill again should a third film be made.
WOLF CREEK 2 lacks a lot of the realism that the first film contained but more than made up for it with its action-packed chases and psychological trauma. There are eight victims in total, with Mick killing seven of them. The biggest gripe that people had about the original film was that it took too long to get to the kills. This film makes sure that’s not a problem with action right from the get go.
Mick is just as insensitive to foreign cultures and people as he was in the first, mocking them before taunting them with what little he does know about their homeland. He makes some comical remarks about the Germans, attempting to use the word “Fräulein” in his thick Australian accent. His kills are still sadistic, taunting his prey before actually disposing of them.
The movie was made in both South Australia and Victoria so the environment is a little different to what was seen in the first film, though the famous crater still makes an appearance. The diversity of the harsh climate that this country has still plays a major part in making this film terrifying.
Just a quick couple of things to pick up on. Most people will gripe over the lack of mobile/cell phone use. In the outback, there is no signal. An iPhone is shown briefly but the reception is that bad the person on the other end can’t be heard. In that harsh of a climate, there is no contact with the outside world. Paul asks the couple in the house for a phone and they make mention of the fact that there isn’t one. Even their CB radio doesn’t work. This can be forgiveable as most tourists don’t know what they’re getting into before wandering through the outback.
Mick’s lair has changed from the first film. There are hundreds, if not thousands of abandoned mines and wells in the outback. In fact, police in the outback have stated that a lot of their missing persons will probably never be found as they’ve been dropped into one of these holes in the ground that do eventually get swallowed up by the desert. Therefore there are plenty of places for him to hide bodies should there be a third film.
The film has some genuine scary moments that will leave an audience gasping in both terror and awe. It is these moments combined with the storyline, John Jarratt’s return as the maniacal Mick Taylor and landscape of the Australia that cause this film to surpass the original in leaps and bounds.
So, if you’re looking for something different that will make you laugh, cry, scream and jump, WOLF CREEK 2 is just the ticket you need. After all, in the land Down Under no one can hear you scream.
Entertainment Value: 9/10
Film Quality: 9/10
Overall Rating: 9/10
Moral of the story; be prepared when you visit Australia. Because down here, we know what really scares you.
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