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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