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Wolf Creek

Wolf Creek (2005)

Director: Greg McLean
Cast overview: Nathan Phillips, Cassandra Magrath
Running time: 99 minutes

I always enjoy a good horror film. I think this is good, in a way. It's enjoyable enough - well, if you can call mutilation and gore enjoyable. It's been done a thousand times before, I suppose, though this feels more authentic in that it was based on true events and it's filmed in a documentary style.

John Jarratt is great as the murderous madman with a dilapidated-looking camp and collection of skulls and miscellaneous body parts. Seriously, though, he is good - reminds me of someone, too. Not sure who. Hope it's no one I know. He's perhaps more intriguing because we don't know his motives - then again, there can't be a reasonable motive for being a serial killer apart from psychopathy.

Greg McLean also deserves credit for his great cinematography and direction, in my opinion. He perfectly captures the barren Australian outback setting and the sporadic shots of the area serve to increase feelings of isolation. The slow opening and build-up also creates tension, a notion that appears to have been forgotten in many recent horror films. I could actually feel my heart pounding at some points later in the film.

So, a decent film, certainly, but it feels a bit flat at times and I just didn't feel it warranted a higher score, it felt a bit hare-brained at times. Still very much a good film that's worth a watch or two. I know a second's been released and I'm intrigued about what they've done with that.

Mick Taylor: I'm going to do something now they used to do in Vietnam. It's called making a head on a stick.

Mick Taylor: [pointing at corpse] She was good for months... until she lost her head!

Ben Mitchell: I think it'd be cool, you get to go from place to place saying things like 'that's not a knife - this is a knife'.

John Jarratt remained in character between takes.

A very eerie coincidence occurred for the second unit crew sent out to get footage of the Wolf Creek Crater. Since the location was many hours from any town the small crew decided to camp out in their car at the site after shooting. During the night a mysterious stranger showed up in a truck to investigate. The stranger indeed looked very much like the character of Mick Taylor, right down to the rustic truck. The stranger left, but the crew was so spooked that they drove an hour down the road before finally stopping to camp for the night.

There had been no rainfall for ten years in the area where the backpackers park their car before setting off for the crater, but it started raining as soon as the crew arrived. In the end, director Greg Mclean was happy it rained, as it added to the ominous atmosphere of the scene.