DVD REVIEW: WOLF CREEK 2 / CERT: 18 / DIRECTOR: GREG MCLEAN / SCREENPLAY: GREG MCLEAN, AARON STERNS / STARRING: JOHN JARRATT, RYAN CORR, SHANNON ASHLYN, PHILIPPE KLAUS / RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 15TH
A follow-up to McLean’s 2005 Wolf Creek, this sequel reacquaints audiences with Mick Taylor (Jarratt) and his twisted sense of humour and national pride. For those not familiar with the first film, Mick is a pig hunter who just so happens to have a penchant for torturing and slaughtering backpackers. And in Wolf Creek 2, that’s exactly what we see.
Whereas Wolf Creek eased us in gently to Taylor and his antics, this follow-up slams us straight into the action. After Mick has an early run-in with the law, the film’s tone is firmly set, and before we know it, we get conveniently introduced to a couple of young German tourists looking for a traditional taste of the Australian outback. Ever the willing tour guide, it’s not long before Mick reaches out to the couple. In the blink of an eye, Paul (Corr) is added to the mix as Taylor looks to continue his sadistic tradition of torment and terror.
Given how part of the first movie’s charm was in its slow build and pacing, it’s a shame to see Wolf Creek 2 take a different route. The action starts right from the opening of the movie, meaning that newcomers may find it hard to get to grips with Mick Taylor and his unique outlook. Similarly, this fast pace of action leads to a first half of the movie that has no real character development on either the side of the villain or his victims, as Taylor slices, shoots and explodes his way from pillar to post.
The second half of Wolf Creek 2 does finally see the pace slow down, as Mick preys on Brit Paul. It’s just a shame that the movie then descends into the territory of torture porn and over the top gore for the sake of it. With Jarratt’s Taylor coming across as more camp than in his previous outing, the needless splatter and comical tones of Wolf Creek 2 does to the series what some of the A Nightmare on Elm Street sequels did to that franchise.
In terms of positives, the final third of the movie results in a nice change of scenery, whilst Ryan Corr offers a mildly charismatic performance. As for Jarratt, he does well when he’s given more to do than just popping out one-liners or snarling to himself. And that’s the problem: the film so often becomes repetitive and, as a result, boring. For every step Wolf Creek 2 takes in the right direction, it takes five steps back through blood-soaked, quip-laden scenes that lose all effectiveness early on. Given the supposed long-term planning that went into this sequel, we quite frankly expected a hell of a lot more. And don't get us started on CGI kangaroos!