PLOT: While on a trip with her family to the Australian Outback, a young woman survives a tragic encounter with serial killer Mick Taylor. With nothing left to lose, she goes on her own personal journey to make him pay for what he has done.
REVIEW: There is a terrifying world in the Australian Outback, one that is made all the more horrific thanks to the presence of "Mick Taylor." As a fan of the WOLF CREEK movies, I was a little skeptical about this disturbed serial killer heading to the small screen. After all, it’s not an easy task to translate a story that runs about an hour and a half, give or take, into a several episode series. Thankfully filmmaker Greg McLean has taken his brutal tale and made it into one hell of a compelling six episode crime thriller. While the first film was savage and sadistic, and the second was a wild action horror flick, the series is a dark and disturbing tale of vengeance, one that gives Mick Taylor a fierce opponent - a 19-year-old recovering addict. And it works beautifully.
Eve Thorogood (Lucy Fry) is a young girl who at one time was a star athlete. After an injury she finds herself addicted to pain medications. In hopes to bring her to full recovery, her father, mother and young brother take her on a vacation deep into the Outback. Unfortunately for them, they run into a man that horror fans are all very familiar with. After their tragic meeting, Eve barely survives. In the hospital she is questioned by a police sergeant by the name of Sullivan Hill (Dustin Clare) who wonders whether her outrageous story is true. Desperate for revenge, and with very little help from the police, Eve’s only choice is to go after Mick Taylor (John Jarratt) and make sure he pays for all the terror he inflicted upon her and her family.
The beauty of Wolf Creek is how McLean and writer/director Tony Tilse are able to expand this vast and dangerous world. While the focus is mainly on Eve and Mick, we meet a number of new characters and face brand new environments. Some of them offer a creepy surprises. Even after such a devestating nightmare, Eve faces major hurdles to cross on her quest for revenge. And unlike the films, we spend a whole lot more time with the "victim" surviving in this huge landscape with different challenges, all of which adds to the mythology of Mick quite nicely. We see more of Australia aside from mostly sticking to the area of Wolf Creek.
John Jarratt is once again very menacing, and it is fun to see him having to work a little harder to track down his prey. And then there is Lucy Fry. The Australian actress - who has no trouble with her American accent - is fantastic as Eve. While her character is beautifully written, she expertly handles all facets of playing a woman dealing with near impossible odds. She is an addict and she has lost everything but she has fight in her. Ms. Fry is superb here and brings real strength to this tortured soul. If this series is any indication, Lucy Fry is going to be a major star.
The third main character, Sergeant Hill, is played by Spartacus: Gods of the Arena star Dustin Clare. The actor is an excellent addition to this story as well. Hill and Eve have a surprisingly tender and realistic relationship. He is struggling with his complicated marriage, and she is desperate to make sense of the darkness that has surrounded her, it is a powerful combination. Add to that a number of intriguing side characters - most notably Rachel House who plays a local by the name of Ruth who owns a roadside diner - and you have a thrilling crime drama that is filled with suspense and an unexpected emotional impact.
With Tilse directing five episodes, and McLean taking on the season finale, they all are similar in atmosphere and tone. You don’t have the one episode that feels separate from everything else, all six episodes flow together especially well - definitely binge worthy. This is a beautifully shot series that manages to capture the raw power of the film’s locales. Expansive and haunting, the Outback is the perfect backdrop for this drama that manages to scare effectively, while you will be impatiently waiting for the next episode. My only minor quibble is that there are a couple of edits midway through that don’t quite work. Aside from a couple of jolty shifts, this is an impressively sharp six episode series.
Wolf Creek on Pop TV is an atmospheric and brutal journey into the Outback. And while Mick Taylor is just a scary as ever, he has found himself a most challenging opponent in young Eve. The score by Burkhard von Dallwitz is eerie, and the the photography is stunning. Not every horror movie should be made into a television series, but when you have all the right ingredients, you may have something truly special. Wolf Creek is a must watch. As great as both Jarratt and Clare are, it is Fry who really makes this such an amazing series. Although she has strong support from a scene-stealing dog who takes a liking to her. Wolf Creek is a perfect October Halloween horror show to disappear into.