Story: Three friends are traveling across the great outback, and end up taking a 4-hour hike to the Wolf Creek National Park. When they return, their car is dead and help comes in the form of a bushman named Mick. But as they are soon about to discover, Mick’s intentions with them are far from humble, and all the more sinister! Based on the real life “back-packer” killer.
The Film Itself: The advertising for this film is fairly impressive. I mean, right on the box are quotes from filmmaking giants Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez. “One of the great horror film heavies of the last 25 years” and “as real as horror gets”. These are pretty bold statements! Now, are they true? To an extent. Don’t get the wrong idea. I really DID enjoy this film, but it’s far from an instant horror classic. Let’s address the problems first. The movie feels really long and it’s very slow paced. I usually love slow paced movies that build in suspense. But I think you can skip the first 40 minutes and not miss anything too important. But after that, the second half of the movie is great. Once we learn of Mick’s true intentions, things get pretty horrific. Things I liked about the flick? The cinematography is absolutely gorgeous. It wasn’t until I watched the making of featurette that I learned this movie was shot in HD digital and it looks amazing! Also, John Jarret is fantastic as Mick. He comes off so likable when we first meet him that it’s hard to believe how sinister he truly can get. There’s a bit of gore in this “uncut” addition, but not a lot. (Hey, there ARE only 4 characters.) There were moments in the second half that were pretty brutal and even the ending is a bit upsetting. (But also satisfying.) I think the second half is what pretty much makes this movie.
Special Features: This is a pretty good special edition disc. There’s a commentary track with director Greg McLean, producer Matt Hearn, and actors Cassandra Magrath and Kestie Morassi. It’s fairly entertaining as they share plenty of stories about the making of the production. (Such as Nathan Phillips bringing the acoustic guitar to the set and improvising the songs that ended up in the film.) There’s also a really in-depth extensive making of featurette which covers practically the entire production. I enjoy hearing director Greg McLean’s talk about his passion for this project and the horror genre in general. He seems to know his horror and I really look forward to what he does in the future. –robg.
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