I love horror movies. I watch a lot of them. I can
say that this is the first movie that actually had me reeling back at
one scene! The story takes place at Wolf Creek, site of a meteor impact
in outback Australia. Our heroes are three young adults, Ben, Liz and
Kristy who are making their way from Western Australia over to Sydney in
a beat up old car that Ben has bought on the spur of the moment. Liz and
Kristy are British backpackers, Ben is supposedly heading over to Sydney
to see a girlfriend and finish the relationship.
The feature is shot by first time feature director
Greg McLean and the experience is a claustrophobic experience told
jarringly through what appears at times to be a handheld DV camera. It’s
not often the style of a movie makes me feel slightly queasy, not even
Blair Witch had this effect on me, but it so perfectly suits the style
of storytelling that you encounter that you feel like you are one of the
kids being terrorised by serial killer Mick Taylor, play to perfection
by John Jarratt.
It was funny seeing this chillingly cold character
played by someone unfortunately I have only seen in the capacity of
hosting a home improvement show, and even that was some time ago.
Jarratt had me thoroughly convinced he was a raving lunatic all the way
through the movie, which of course is his job as an actor, but at no
time was there anything that made me give up that notion.
The whole feel of the movie all the way through is
“oh my god, that could happen to me!” There is a very raw gritty feeling
that leaves a shocking taste in your mouth almost immediately as soon as
the kids leave “civilisation” and have their first encounter with the
people of the outback. It’s rough as guts and will leave you gasping for
The one scene of the movie that really had me shocked
was the one that you really don’t see that much of. The implied violence
is so brutal that if you needed a single part of the movie to look away,
wait for Mick Taylor to mention a head on a stick, implying a torture
carried out during the Vietnam War. You can’t help but react.
The feature starts off a bit too slow however by the
end of it, the pace is frantic and despite how good the movie is, you
are almost glad that it is over. This is one of those movies that you
will be able to watch more than once and after that a title that you
will use to shock your mates who have not seen it. Great acting and good
storytelling make this one a keeper.
Extras on the two discs abound, but my favourite was
the John Jarratt interview on the second disc. This unassuming man
sitting in an empty theatre answering questions from an unseen
interviewer makes for some great viewing and when he does his Mick
Taylor voice, it is certainly unnerving.