ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

001866
Search by title # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Wolf Creek (2005)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Greg McLean

Starring:
Nathan Phillips/Ben
Kestie Morassi/Kristy
Cassandra Magrath/Liz
8 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
A kool Aussie duder (Phillips) and two cute British gals (Morassi and Magrath) take a road trip to “Wolf Creek” a massive meteor crash site located in Australia. They enjoy the sight but when the time comes to book out of dodge, their car won’t start and then…well… the real horror begins.
THE LOWDOWN

How can you be found when no one knows you're missing?

I knew jack-all about Wolf Creek when I sat down to watch it at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival screening. All I was aware of was that the poster looked sweet and that the Weinstein bros had acquired it (for an end of 2005 release). So, when I read the “true story” text on the screen as the film began, I thought it was another one of those “Blair Witch Project” like true stories…A PHONY ONE. It was only afterwards; that I learned it was based on actual events (they borrowed elements off the "Backpacker Murders" and the "Falconio" case). Man we live on a messed up globe...can we nuke ourselves already? We deserve it!

The film itself hurdled me on its side off the bat, starting with its striking look, which emanated a mix of murky, semi-documentary, yet polished and awe inspiring. I found the visuals here quite moving. Props to fisrt time feature lenght Director Greg McLean for capitalizing on his Australian locations like a talented and gung-ho champ! I so grooved to his hypnotizing shots of the ocean (wow), the chilling desert landscape, the entrancing sunset-rises (double-wow) and the various local animals doing their thing (Kangaroos are cute). Now that’s gorgeous photography (props to the D.O.P while I'm at it!)! I felt like I was there (the three Guinness’’ I had before helped that too.)! Substance wise, I highly valued the quality time I spent with the three lead teen characters. Although I didn’t learn much about them as people, the sympathetic and credible actors behind the roles and their chemistry together made me love them!

The latter device was actually the key factor as to why the horror hit me so hard once it rock and rolled in. To be honest, I didn’t even want this movie to be a genre jamboree at this point. I would’ve been more than content to see these young peeps get through their trip, get laid, fall in love, go home...roll end credits. That’s not what happened. The shite hit the shan! OUCH! The visceral, tension laced and excessively brutal last block put me through the emotional ringer and then some. I was a mess! Here were my “new pals” (man I need a shrink and a random beating) getting it bad, severe and worse! One kill in particular had me squirming like a frog with a needle stuck in its dumbfounded head. Never seen that one onscreen! Just remember these words “head on a stick”. Brrr! That was seriously F*CKED UP!
On the dull side of the Bowie knife, the frights did take a little bit too much time to get cranking; I mean it crashed the party at about 1 hour in. Could’ve shortened that. Then there was the nature behind the horror which was well executed but felt too déjà vu at this point in time (2005). We’ve been getting lots of genre films of this ilk these days and it’s getting a bit old (for me anyways). I was hoping this tale was going to be about aliens! COME ON! GET THEM ALIENS IN THERE! My biggest peeves though had to do with the narrative clumsily dropping one of its lead characters during the last block (I didn’t appreciate that) and some suspension of disbelief coming in to take me out of the film  for a couple of seconds. Lets just say that these kiddies did two REALLY BAD moves that had me screaming at the screen “There to serve the pre-destined storyline, not logic!”  and “My intelligence is being insulted!”

But as the end credits rolled, I felt drained, down on life, somewhat stressed out and in need of a shot of JD in my tummy ASAP. I usually feel like that when I get my Monthly bills OR... when I see a powerful horror movie. Wolf Creek punished me and had me thinking afterwards (about the ugly state of our society). As a genre fan and a human being, I thanked it for that. Hit this creek and get drowned in pain!

GORE
We get some decrepit corpses, cut off fingers, gun shot wounds, lots of blood and more goodies that I won’t spit out in fear of giving anything away. The film was not overly graphic but when the red-splat arose, it whacked hard.
ACTING
Nathan Phillips (Ben) was mucho natural and likeable, the kind of bro-ham I’d have a beer with. Aces! Kestie Morassi (Kristy) did a fine job, hitting some fairly intense levels. I bought it! Cassandra Magrath (Liz) gave a charismatic and poignant show. She was the hook of the film for me! All three worked off each other magically.
T & A
The ladies get a buff Nathan Phillips shirtless while we get naked corpses. Not a fair game going on here! Doesn’t anybody believe in tits anymore?
DIRECTING
McLean’s raw yet poetic visual approach gave the flick an extra doze of pizzazz. The same could be said about his fear injected “suspense” scenarios, which sported much impact due to the tight and potent staging on display. The man is one to keep tabs on within the genre.
SOUNDTRACK
The moody score by Frank Tetaz so hit the spot, making the images even more engaging when. We also get some standard pop/rock ditties.
BOTTOM LINE
Wolf Creek Kibble n’ Bitched Slapped me with its arresting photography, its endearing actors and its bleak, suspenseful and shamefully un-apologetic terror bits. This one really got creative and downright cruel on me, hence ramming into my skull full blast, to leave me destroyed afterwards. I was bummed after this film; to think that shite like this goes down in our world…planet earth freaking sucks! Now granted, the pacing was “slow burn” (that might turn some off…not me) and 2 dumb “character moves” could’ve easily been written into “smart moves”, but by and large, I suggest you visit this Wolf Creek when it hits the screens in November 2005. It will bite your head clean off! CLEAN OFF!
BULL'S EYE
The flick was shot on HD

The flick cost an estimated 1 Million clams to make.

VISIT THE OFFICIAL WOLF CREEK SITE

Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

6:08PM on 04/15/2012

No sir, I didn't like it

What it boiled down to is this: this was an even worse version of Hostel set in the Australian outback. I found the characters even more unlikeable than the douchebags in Hostel. That alone took me out of the flick from the very beginning. The fact that it took so long to get to the violence and the "characters" made idiotic moves to serve the plot was the bullet to the skull.

Yeah, it was well made and well filmed. But a well made turd is still a turd.
What it boiled down to is this: this was an even worse version of Hostel set in the Australian outback. I found the characters even more unlikeable than the douchebags in Hostel. That alone took me out of the flick from the very beginning. The fact that it took so long to get to the violence and the "characters" made idiotic moves to serve the plot was the bullet to the skull.

Yeah, it was well made and well filmed. But a well made turd is still a turd.
Your Reply:



11:27PM on 07/18/2007

Bringing the back up

Hold up wait a minute put a little CREEK in it. What made this movie was its slow pace, the build up, and character development. They gave you time to like the characters and get to know them. Thus making ttheir torture and repective deaths more impactful for the viewer. So if your bag is nonstop action and wall to wall gore (which is awesome) then jamming in this car with these 3 adventurers shouldnt be on your calendar.

Oh, also while I'm on here, I'm sorry. But, several posts down
Hold up wait a minute put a little CREEK in it. What made this movie was its slow pace, the build up, and character development. They gave you time to like the characters and get to know them. Thus making ttheir torture and repective deaths more impactful for the viewer. So if your bag is nonstop action and wall to wall gore (which is awesome) then jamming in this car with these 3 adventurers shouldnt be on your calendar.

Oh, also while I'm on here, I'm sorry. But, several posts down there was a knock on "nonsense horror films like scream, halloween, Freddy." I respect your opinion but Jesus. Good thing that comment was made online or there might have been a fight. Thank God the screen serves as protection.
Your Reply:



+0
5:29AM on 02/09/2007

Really?

Did people really give this thing good ratings? THis has got to be one of the worst movies (not just horror movies) that I have ever seen!!!!
Did people really give this thing good ratings? THis has got to be one of the worst movies (not just horror movies) that I have ever seen!!!!
Your Reply:



10:00PM on 06/21/2006

One of the best of 2005

I don't care what all of you think, this is hands down one of the best (and scariest) horror films released in the last few years. Beautiful shot Aussie film that leaves every other "so-called" American horror films in the dust. John Jarratt is chilling as Mick Taylor.
I don't care what all of you think, this is hands down one of the best (and scariest) horror films released in the last few years. Beautiful shot Aussie film that leaves every other "so-called" American horror films in the dust. John Jarratt is chilling as Mick Taylor.
Your Reply:



10:03AM on 04/10/2006

Liz

I liked Wolf Creek, not going to be a fave of mine but I liked it, I found the killer in the film to be really creepy! he seemed so nice and yet he was really evil!!!

I love the character of Liz!!! like Arrow said she was the 'hook' of the film.
I liked Wolf Creek, not going to be a fave of mine but I liked it, I found the killer in the film to be really creepy! he seemed so nice and yet he was really evil!!!

I love the character of Liz!!! like Arrow said she was the 'hook' of the film.
Your Reply:



+0
11:57AM on 02/13/2006

Great "Real" horror film

Forget nonsense horror films like scream, halloween, Freddy and a million other immitations. This is a true horror film that is disturbing, brave and memorable. The film has a raw quality and characters that you actually give a damn about, which makes the awful things that are done to them even more dreadful to watch.

Mick is surely the most chilling psycho in years and the acting is excellent. Any horror film fan should watch this while remembering that things like this do happen which
Forget nonsense horror films like scream, halloween, Freddy and a million other immitations. This is a true horror film that is disturbing, brave and memorable. The film has a raw quality and characters that you actually give a damn about, which makes the awful things that are done to them even more dreadful to watch.

Mick is surely the most chilling psycho in years and the acting is excellent. Any horror film fan should watch this while remembering that things like this do happen which elevates the film even more.
Your Reply:



+0
2:27PM on 01/12/2006

Gives you what you expect

This movie gives you the horror in a high dose. There's only 3 characters to get attached to here and I thought giving them an hour's development was a fine idea. Once the horror kicks in, it's like seeing what happened to your best friends. Not a pleasant feeling. That's the point. The fact that crap like this happens all the time also adds to the horror of this tale. I'll be buying my copy when it comes out on DVD for sure.
This movie gives you the horror in a high dose. There's only 3 characters to get attached to here and I thought giving them an hour's development was a fine idea. Once the horror kicks in, it's like seeing what happened to your best friends. Not a pleasant feeling. That's the point. The fact that crap like this happens all the time also adds to the horror of this tale. I'll be buying my copy when it comes out on DVD for sure.
Your Reply:



11:57PM on 01/05/2006

unfortantly underrated

Pointless... well let's think about that hartigan. The thing makin this movie so scary/disturbing is the fact that people get put through things like this and it's not karma. pointless was the point. they didn't deserve what they went through but they went through it anyway. I remember when this whole thing happened I lived in New Zealand at the time and the outcome was sad and just flat out pissed me off.(once you see the film you'll understand) anyway this really is a good movie great
Pointless... well let's think about that hartigan. The thing makin this movie so scary/disturbing is the fact that people get put through things like this and it's not karma. pointless was the point. they didn't deserve what they went through but they went through it anyway. I remember when this whole thing happened I lived in New Zealand at the time and the outcome was sad and just flat out pissed me off.(once you see the film you'll understand) anyway this really is a good movie great character development, directing, photograghy, etc. But the thing that made me love this movie so much was the fact that I didn't enjoy watching it, I just had to. I loved hating this movie as dumb as this sounds, but I didn't hate it for being bad but just flatout [link] they didn't even have to have a gore fest to pull off making you cringe. high five to everyone involved in this masterpeice.
Your Reply:



8:37PM on 01/03/2006

Not that great.

Not one of the best but not one of the worst. Have I seen this movie before? It was nice in the sense that we get to know these characters a bit but for the love of all that is holy could the opening credits have been any longer? Enough is enough!

Most of the hapenings have been done time and again. To put it straight, I'm tired of seeing this. TCM, the remakes, Wrong Turn. Ok we get it. Crazies live out in the middle of nowhere.

My movie buddy and I found ourselves pulling a Mystery
Not one of the best but not one of the worst. Have I seen this movie before? It was nice in the sense that we get to know these characters a bit but for the love of all that is holy could the opening credits have been any longer? Enough is enough!

Most of the hapenings have been done time and again. To put it straight, I'm tired of seeing this. TCM, the remakes, Wrong Turn. Ok we get it. Crazies live out in the middle of nowhere.

My movie buddy and I found ourselves pulling a Mystery Science Theatre and we weren't the only ones! How stupid can you get? Yes, lets go back to the madman's house and watch some video's that his other victims left. He won't be back for a while. The only "Good" thing to come from this is some limb removal and a sneaky shot. Don't want to give away.

Not only that but come on! You shoot the guy in the side of the neck. A man thats torturing your friend and plans on taking you down next. You walk away without even bothering to finish the job! COME ON! We've seen this done plenty of times but never has it annoyed me so especially when whats her face actually goes back to rifle through his pockets!

This flick was nothing more than an O.K way to kill some time.
Your Reply:



12:26AM on 01/03/2006

A Severe Waste of Time

Never has 93 minutes seemed like such an eternity! Although the entire first half of this movie was devoted to character development- without the audience even meeting the villain- I still ended up not caring for the trio of backpackers all that much, given that I had a pretty good idea going in that they were doomed.

This is not to say that I wasn't ready to forgive the drawn-out, sleep inducing first half in the name of seeing some inventive, graphic violent goodies when these tourists
Never has 93 minutes seemed like such an eternity! Although the entire first half of this movie was devoted to character development- without the audience even meeting the villain- I still ended up not caring for the trio of backpackers all that much, given that I had a pretty good idea going in that they were doomed.

This is not to say that I wasn't ready to forgive the drawn-out, sleep inducing first half in the name of seeing some inventive, graphic violent goodies when these tourists finally bite the bullet. Sadly, that never happened. Aside from a very slim-few sick shots, everything is pretty mundane on the kill-front with your standard gun and knife play.

And as was already pointed out, many of the moves the characters made in their attempts to battle and elude the crazed Aussie literally had members of the audience yelling at the screen, and laughing at the utter stupidity of the girls actions! I mean Jesus Christ on a cracker! You're creeping around a madman's lair and he could return at any moment, quit looking at his photo albums and find one of his weapons so you can attack his ass when he shows up!

Go ahead and tack on an anti-climatic ending to all the above as well. Seriously, why didnt we get one final climatic encounter between the psycho bushman and Ben? I realize this was based on true events, but the key word is BASED. The ending could have been spruced up a little, as I'm sure much of the middle part between the killer and the two girls was.

I went in with high expectations and what I got was a snore-fest first half followed by a formulaic, silly-move filled second half capped off with an out of nowhere unexciting ending. The biggest travesty of all is that the first screening I went to see was sold-out, so I had to wait for three hours to catch the late night show; I shudder to think how many people are wasting 9 bucks on this watered-down Chainsaw Massacre wannabe! Please tell all your friends to avoid this movie!
Your Reply:



10:38PM on 12/22/2005

Comparatively great, but...pointless

I'm no prude to blood, gore, splatter, the whole kit and kaboodle, but I also like story. This movie was pointless. Daring aned exciting within the Australian film industry, which is bland and patently crap, but when I saw this film early in 2005 at the Melbourne Film Festival, I was let down.

The movie looks great, John Jarret's villain was terrifying, but as a whole the film fails to thrill.
I'm no prude to blood, gore, splatter, the whole kit and kaboodle, but I also like story. This movie was pointless. Daring aned exciting within the Australian film industry, which is bland and patently crap, but when I saw this film early in 2005 at the Melbourne Film Festival, I was let down.

The movie looks great, John Jarret's villain was terrifying, but as a whole the film fails to thrill.
Your Reply:



+0
2:45AM on 11/26/2005

Truly Horrifying

This movie is what ALL horror/thriller should be like. You are thrown into this situation and it has you clambering for air til the very end. I always wanted to backpack Australia (seeing as I live here) but now I have second thoughts. FANTASTIC!
This movie is what ALL horror/thriller should be like. You are thrown into this situation and it has you clambering for air til the very end. I always wanted to backpack Australia (seeing as I live here) but now I have second thoughts. FANTASTIC!
Your Reply:



FEATURED HORROR YOUTUBE VIDEO

Mistress Of The Week

More
Headey, Lena