WOLF CREEK (UNRATED)
Reviewed by: Andre Manseau
What's it about
Three lovey-dovey hippie kids drive across Australia, visit Wolf Creek national park, when their car breaks down. They soon meet a friendly friend who tries to help them, and by help them, I mean kill them all.
Is it good movie?
I'd had high hopes for this flick when I'd read a few good reviews on he internet. Hopefully, when people look up a review for Wolf Creek, they'll find this one.
Don't get me wrong, this flick isn't bad. In fact, there's quite a bit that I like about it. Let me start with the reason you should check this movie out, his name is John Jarratt, and he absolutely owns as Mick, our outback savior-turned-killer. The guy is such a fantastic character actor, and puts so many fantastic nuances and little spins on his character. He owns. I really believed in the guy, and was actually rooting for him after awhile.
Also, the brutality that this film is sprinkled with is worth mentioning as it can be rather unforgiving. I'm talking about the awesome sniper shot, and especially the spine slice. I won't say anything more about these little moments, but they're brutal and unexpected and really put over the nastiness of this bad boy.
I also appreciated the film's homemade look and style. some people don't dig the whole Blair Witch-esque look, but I liked it and when it's done properly, it often adds a lot to a film for me.
Here's the movie's biggest sins: the characters, and the pacing. Working at a video store, I hear it all the time: "Is Wolf Creek any good?" "Yeah..but it takes foreEVER to get going." This statement is true, Wolf Creek takes almost half of its 99 minute runtime to get going, and it's a slow process. This goes hand in hand with the lame-ass characters. It's not necessarily that they were bad actors, but they seemed like reality-tv reject strange, swinging people. One minute they're all in love, the next they hate each other, what's the deal? I didn't really get behind them, but even this I could overlook. The biggest character flaw is that they are morons. Once these characters get into trouble, they're completely useless and backwards, stumbling into things, spending wayy too long in the wrong places, looking at the wrong things, just generally doing all the wrong things. You want to yell at these kids through the screen. That might be fun for some people, but I don't really dig it.
Video / Audio
Our transfer comes to us in 1:78:1 widescreen (enhanced for widescreen tvs!), and is fine, but the film quality, as it is, isn't much to write home about.
Sound comes in the form of Dolby 5.1, and sounded suitably crisp and creepy.
Not much to be found here in the way of extras.
The most meat comes from The Making of Wolf Creek, it runs about a half hour long, and of course, details the making of the film. I thought that it was a cut above most documentaries, as so many people involved really loved making the film, and you pick up some good tidbits about it too. The film was made for just over a million bucks! We also see wardrobe tests, auditions, the awesome setting, interviews with cast and crew, effects stuff, it was all pretty neat. Only thing that I didn't groove on was some of the creators talking about the movie like it's the best ever, something completely original..but I guess you need to stand by your product!
The commentary with Greg Mclean, Matt Hearn, Cassandra Magrath and Keslie Morassi (Directory, Exec Producer and actors, respectively) can add quite a bit to the film if you're a big fan. You'll learn a lot about the writing process, and the actual making of the film from the creative standpoint, if you listen to it.
We get one bizarre deleted scene entitled 'g'day'. which lasts about 30 seconds. You really need to wonder what made THIS scene so good that it needed to be immortailized forever. I sure did.
And I know you're shocked, but we also get the neato Theatrical Trailer for Wolf Creek to round this one out.
Wolf Creek is not a disc you'll want to pick up because it's loaded with extras, that's for sure.
This isn't to say that it's a bad movie. If you're down for some twisted action, i'd say that you should pick this one up. John Jarratt's performance and some of the nasty kills push it above average, even if the characters' actions might leave you screaming at your television.
Let's put another spine on the barbie!