Movie Review - Wolf Creek 2
It's been seven years since we last encountered the crazed serial-killer, Mick Taylor, stalking tourists through the outback (or 'vermin' as he calls them) in 2005s Wolf Creek. And apparently, not a thing has changed. Which is good if you are a fan of the first film, because it's virtually the same story with a little bit of a twist to it. And as every good sequel should, they've upped the ante in the gore department, which should delight genre fans like myself who like our effects practical and bloody-as-hell. The've also added more car chases and explosions, along with another journey inside the abandoned mine where Mick disposes of his victims. They even cut right to the chase by making Mick the main character, focusing on him for almost the entire duration of the film. The only area they neglected was the story, which does absolutely nothing to further the mythology of the character or the franchise, and makes for a pretty tedious one hundred and five minutes. So I have mixed emotions about the film, which was just given a pre-theatrical release on VOD. Although it is perfectly entertaining, it is also completely underwhelming.
I'm not even sure a plot summary is necessary here, but I'll give it go. After the film opens with our old pal Mick having a particularly nasty run in with the cops, he heads out to Wolf Creek to do what he does best: find campers and torture them to death. It worked well in the first film, and in the second film they simply lather, rinse and repeat. Leading him and three other people on a collision course, that loses steam as the film progresses. And where the first film provided for some genuinely creepy moments and fun jump scares, the second is far too predictable, using the same tricks they used seven years ago. Though this time they just feel trite.
Wolf Creek was more subtle than its sequel, which takes a completely different tone than the original. The difference between the two is not unlike the drastic difference between The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and it's extremely campy sequel The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. Each has their own merits, but I doubt anyone would argue that the second one was anything more than shlock, albeit highly enjoyable shlock.
John Jarratt is as solid as ever returning to the role he gave life to, and he seems to do so with great joy. In fact, it looks like he's having so much fun, it's hard to not like the guy, even when he's at his nastiest. If it weren't for Jaratt's charm this film would fall flat on its face. But it's disappointing that even with Taylor as the focus of the film, we don't learn anything more about him. I can't see how they hope to build a franchise here if they aren't going to build the mythology. I am of the mindset, that there's really no need to make another one from where we're left at the conclusion of part two.
As I said, this is a fun and enjoyable movie and is required viewing for fans of the original. But expect a movie that is at times drastically different and yet somehow, completely the same, And I would say you could wait for this one on Netflix. Cheers.
- Leo Francis