Thursday, 29 May 2014

Wolf Creek 2

Wolf Creek 2 is an Australian horror movie, centered around the allegedly real story of outback serial killer and pig hunter Mick Tyler. It sells itself as a slasher-flick, but I found it to be so much more... but still not for people with a weak stomach.

I have vague memories of seeing the first Wolf Creek on TV after a Pirates of the Caribbean DVD marathon and I'm pretty sure I fell asleep. But after seeing the sequel, I think that might have been because of exhaustion rather than the movie, because this was amazing. I wouldn't have thought so after seeing the trailer, because I don't usually go for those Splatter/Slasher films and Mick Tyler sounds so in love with his own voice in it. But I am getting ahead of myself.

The movie starts with two German backpackers who are traveling across Australia, and right there, as someone who was a backpacker in New Zealand, I can tell you that there are enough horror stories about backpacking in Australia that don't even need a psycho serial killer to make you feel uncomfortable in your skin. As we all know, Australia is basically After Earth, everything there has evolved to kill you, but that's not even the worst part. Traveling across Australia means complete dependence on the people you meet, whether you are a hitchhiker or working on a farm in the outback, relying on your employer to take you back to town a hundred kilometers or so once your work is done. The movie picks this up in a short sequence of our so very German heroes losing their cool when the few cars they meet just pass by without stopping.

Soon of course, we leave scary backpacker stuff to go full on serial killer, and what a killer he is. The first time we meet Mick Tyler, he seems almost perfectly reasonable, going for the Drivers License instead of the hunting knife when he's harassed by two cops... by the end of the movie, I questioned if that scene had actually happened, because I just couldn't imagine it after the things that happen in this movie.

This movies strength is that Tyler is completely human. Completely demented too, but human. He is not a victim of nuclear tests or incest, hungry for human flesh, not a demon from hell or some alien left on earth. He is a xenophobic and easily infuriated pig hunter and an "outback legend" as he calls himself. But by all means, there is nothing supernatural here, just the hunt, and in a hunt, the winner is never certain.

The star of this movie is clearly John Jarratt as Mick Tyler, but the good acting doesn't stop there. His victims are very much their own characters, not just your usual six people lost in the woods, two couples and one virgin who is going to fall in love during the course of the movie and all that stuff that Cabin in the Woods mapped out so brilliantly.

Standout scenes are definitely the first chase scene that pulls off a nice little bait-and-switch, and the first scenes of our final showdown, that could have easily come off as just another torture scene, but becomes an intense mindgame between the hunter and his prey. Character moments, that is. The rest of the movie boasts everything from pedal-to-the-metal chase scenes to maybe the most effective jump-scare that I have ever seen. Its also really the only jump scare in the movie, which is applaudable as well.

The soundtrack is perfect as well, but talking too much about it might even qualify as a spoiler.

All in all, I'm amazed how good this movie was. The version I watched was obviously cut down for a better rating, but it still creeped me out when it wanted too, was suspenseful throughout and got its nervous laughs from the whole cinema. Watch this movie if you like horror films, whether you've seen the original or not.

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