Directed by: Greg McLean | 99 minutes | horror | Actors: Peter Alchin, John Jarrat, Cassandra Magrath, Andy McPhee, Kestie Morassi, Guy Petersen, Nathan Phillips, Gordon Poole, Jenny Starwall, Aaron Sterns
Every year 30,000 people disappear in Australia, 90% of which are found within a month. Some are never seen again. This is the text with which “Wolf Creek” opens. The movie pretends to be based on true events.
In this Australian horror, we see how three twenty-somethings get into trouble in the middle of the Outback and get into trouble with a local. Quite a bit of blood flows, a lot is screamed and the main characters occasionally make very illogical choices, where have we seen that before? Indeed, in “Wrong Turn”, “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “House of Wax”, among others. Nothing original so you would say. Yet “Wolf Creek” is beyond the average horror movie.
This is an Australian movie and Australia just looks a bit different from America. The film contains beautiful shots of the enchanting landscape. Enormous panoramic views, beautiful skies, a single empty road that draws a straight line through the desolate landscape, it all looks fantastic. Wolf Creek National Park is real and it’s a massive meteorite crater in the middle of the rugged Outback. The helicopter shots from this crater are really impressive.
The film starts slowly, extensive time is taken to introduce the main characters and see how the average backpacker has fun in Australia. Almost everyone knows someone who has backpacked through Australia and knows the stories about the beautiful country, the rugged nature and those crazy Ozzies. That is why you can identify well with these three young people and it is quite a shock when the problems start. And once those problems start, they start well too. The momentum is good and the whole remains very exciting. There are some downright nasty scenes in it, so the gore lovers will also get their money’s worth.
As mentioned, “Wolf Creek” pretends to be based on true events. That may be slightly exaggerated, but it is a fact that a few years ago the Backpacker Killer was housed in Australia, but he mainly worked in and around Sydney and is now in prison. The film would also be based on the stories of the only witness to this whole case, one of the three young people who survived. This is not a spoiler, as a viewer of horror movies you know that there is always at least one survivor.
“Wolf Creek” has almost no weaknesses, although it should be that the main characters make stupid choices from time to time, which seems annoying and diminishes credibility, but that’s inherent to horror movies.
Definitely worth it, and if you ever go backpacking in Australia again: do not accept help from friendly locals!