Monday, October 20, 2014

Wolf Creek 2



(2014) ***

"The following is based on actual events. 30,000 people are reported missing in Australia every year. 90% are found within a month. Some are never seen again."

Mick Taylor is back causing more mayhem in the Australian outback. This time around he is pursuing Paul who escaped his clutches after Mick brutally murders Paul’s girlfriend. Wolf Creek 2 is essentially a 90 minute chase as Mick stalks Paul across Southern Australia.



I really enjoyed the original Wolf Creek and I even gave it 4 stars, wannafightaboutit? The original was “loosely based” on “true events”, which usually means “barely” based on true events but it worked nonetheless because the fate of all the characters including homicidal Mick Taylor was unknown. The problem with sequels to slashers is that by time we get to number 2 and beyond we know that there is no way in hell that the killer is going to die. Instead we get a formulaic, paint-by-numbers affair as we are introduced to a group of characters who will be picked off one by one. Also, Wolf Creek 2 makes the egregious mistake of never allowing the protagonists to gain the upper hand even for a little while, which is why I dislike the film ‘The Strangers’. It’s no fun to watch 90 minutes of torture and murder if the protagonists never get the upper hand!


Wolf Creek 2 is analogous to the Elm street films. In the original “A Nightmare on Elm Street” Freddy Krueger is downright terrifying. By time ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge’ was released Freddy was cracking jokes every time he killed someone (I need not mention my feelings about Freddy wearing sunglasses in the 5th installment). Moreover Freddy became overexposed in the sequels rendering him as frightening as a schoolgirl holding a lollypop. The original Wolf Creek took place at night and Mick’s screen time was limited as he stalked and tortured campers. Wolf Creek 2 takes place in the daytime and Mick is in almost every scene. Like Freddy K. in the sequels, Mick cracks wise throughout the film with (unfunny) observations (e.g. when Mick plucks out a human heart, he snickers, "Oh no, rip your heart out!" in thick Australian accent). It’s a shame because actor John Jarratt is terrific as Mick Taylor and the character could have become iconic. Unfortunately there is really no place to take the Mick Taylor character unless he goes to Manhattan or outer space. The greatest crime Wolf Creek 2 commits is to tarnish the original film which should have been left alone (see also, Halloween, A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Omen, The Exorcist…).  I struggled between a 2.5 rating or a 3.  I ultimately went with 3 because despite my misgivings this is still a highly watchable entry.

9 comments:

Catfreeek said...

Watchable it may be but it sounds like one I won't mind missing.

Johnny Sweatpants said...

My god JPX, your dislike for The Strangers knows no bounds! I agree that the zero pipe in the ass was infuriating but you have to give it credit for being an effective scary movie. If they shot an additional 1 minute scene where the got the upper hand and killed the attackers then methinks you would be have an entirely different take on it.

JPX said...

I would, JSP! The Strangers is a pointless movie. Three strangers terrorize a couple for 90 minutes and then leave without any explanation for a motive. Not once, ONCE do the protagonists get in a single punch. At least in Friday the 13th Jason gets knocked on his ass lot.

Mr. AC said...

I think I'll add Wolf Creek 1 to the list, but steer clear of the sequel.

AC said...

Jpx, no spoilers on Friday the 13th!

(Jk about spoilers but it is a fact that I've never seen it and intend to this month.)

Landshark said...

I watched the first one last year and remember liking it, but I just checked to find my review, and the link on Monster List takes me to some AC review of a totally different movie. Who's minding the store?!

JPX said...

That sneaky AC! She reroutes all reviews to her reviews...

Johnny Sweatpants said...

I fixed the link Landshark.

Octopunk said...

Nicely pointed review, JPX, and I applaud your dislike of The Strangers (which I haven't seen).