Wolf Creek 2 film review
Wolf Creek 2 (2014)
John Jarratt, Philippe Klaus, Shannon Ashlyn, Ryan Corr, Shane Connor
CRITIC’S RATING: ** 1/2 stars (out of 4 stars)
One thing is absolutely clear…American (among others) macabre movie-making certainly does not have the exclusive fingerprints on depravity when it comes to butchering badasses and their perverse hankering for some naughty, nightmarish activities. Enter Australia’s resident psychopath Mick Taylor (John Jarratt), the demented Down Under dude with the penchant for murderous mayhem in the disturbingly inspired indie horror vehicle Wolf Creek 2.
Writer-director Greg McLean once again takes audiences on a warped journey into the Australian Outback where notorious pig farmer-turned-serial killing menace Mick Taylor continues his sinister carnage in the middle of nowhere as senseless slayings are strangely carried out by the brutal bushwacker. In 2005’s Wolf Creek, Mick had the blood-thirsty penchant for targeting unsuspecting tourists while chopping his two-legged prey to smithereens. Naturally, the misguided Mick and his blood-bathing tendencies became an unconventional and unsettling phenomenon. Gloriously gory and wired weirdly, Wolf Creek 2 is wonderfully diabolical and indeed an acquired taste for the not so squirming bystander. It is safe to say that the morbid Mick gives fellow maniacal misfits such as Friday the 13th’s Jason Voorhees, Halloween’s Michael Myers or even Nightmare on Elm Street’s Freddy Krueger a petrifying run for their money.
Interestingly, the ragged flannel-shirt wearing Demonic One has a compelling backstory which all the more propels Wolf Creek 2 as a creepier caper because it is confined within an intimate showcase shocker that does not have the bombastic boundaries of an elaborate, big-budgeted frightfest. The small scale production should not at all have any major bearing on the big-sized gruesome goings-on that is surprisingly challenging and distinctively chilly. Scruffy-faced xenophobic Mick Taylor loves his land and the continued intrusion of foreigners that dare to pitch a tent in the desolate surroundings of Wolf Creek National Park will ultimately pay the price with their lives.
Basically, Mick is a mentally unbalanced monster whose one to not mince any words for the worldwide visitors that insist on making themselves at home in his sacred homeland. In fact, the oddly creative and comedic elements about this walking human death trap is the way he conducts his slaughtering methods with lyrical relish. You see Mick fancies himself a sinister songbird of sorts. After all, it is not uncommon for Mick to perform his dirty deeds of dismembering body parts while humming finger-snapping tunes “Waltzing Matilda” or “Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport”. When Mick’s on heavy duty rampage mode the aptly applied Patsy Cline hit “I Fall to Pieces” rambles on in the background to the eerie satisfaction of the trigger-happy grisly extinguisher.
Not losing any momentum from his horrific “hobby” of snuffing out lives from the last Wolf Creek installment Mick fails to not miss a beat by padding up the body count as he successfully eradicates a couple of law enforcers that were careless enough to approach the unpredictable mad man without being prepared to handle the deadly consequences. Mick strikes again when he is comes across a loving German couple camping in a tent. This spells doom-and-gloom for the lovebirds as Mick’s “cleansing efforts” are shaping up in his crazed mind.
The real chaotic cat-and-mouse festivities begin when Mick tangles with British tourist Paul Hammersmith (Ryan Corr). Paul had the unfortunate luck of witnessing Mick’s terminating tendencies. Therefore, endangered backpacker Paul becomes the number one target for Mick to try and dispose with the utmost urgency. So the crucial chase is on in the barren plains of Wolf Creek where the determined sicko Mick hunts down the fleeing Paul with rabid force. Almost every available means of transportation necessary is utilized to hunt down the periled Brit whether it be by stolen semi truck or horseback. Mick needs to complete some unfinished bloody business and poor Paul need to ensure that his treacherous tracker experiences such failure if he is to see another day.
One can see the potential in Wolf Creek 2 cultivating a cult following, McLean’s saving grace is Jarratt’s Mick Taylor, a damaged piece of humanity whose tainted passion for slash-and-mash dramatics makes this unstable oddball an indescribable enigma. Jarratt’s devilish turn is joyously lewd and hypnotic as he unleashes an unapologetic beast on the prowl in the name of national purity. Sure, there is not much variety in this sequel beyond what was previously displayed in McLean’s jumpy predecessor almost a decade ago. Still, Wolf Creek 2 has a low-key piercing of outlandishness that registers emphatically.
From cutting down kangaroo meat on the open road to splattering foreign human carcasses along the Australian prairie land one certainly would not want to be up deranged Mick Taylor’s Wolf Creek without a durable paddle…that is for sure!
NOTE: Focus of New York Magazine film critic Frank Ochieng is a member of: