“Wolf Creek 2” film review

I certainly wouldn’t call the original Wolf Creek a fun popcorn horror movie. I haven’t seen it in years, but I knew that watching it again to “warm up” for the sequel wasn’t necessary. Who could forget the infamous “head on a stick”, the sniper, the references to Crocodile Dundee, the depressing title cards at the end, and the chilling ending with Mick Taylor.

To fans, Mick Taylor IS Wolf Creek. Everyone makes jokes about how everything in Australia’s trying to kill you, but Mick Taylor is no joke. This Australian sociopath is possibly the most memorable horror character of the 2000s alongside Jigsaw. Mick is so evil, yet also freakishly true to life when you read about the true life murders that this character and film draws inspiration from, mainly Bradley James Murdoch and Ivan Milat. Even now the news is rife about a killer in Queensland quite similar to Mick Taylor, dubbed Australia’s ‘Hannibal Lector’ and the ‘Wolf Creek’ killer.

You may have noticed the MA15+ rating rather than the R18+ of the original (the R in the poster above didn’t stick). This can be attributed to A) graphic violence has just became more acceptable to society since Saw and CSI, and B) Wolf Creek 2 is more of an action thriller rather than the borderline torture porn of the first.

In saying that, Wolf Creek 2 is still very depraved, in some ways even more than the first.

The first movie was about three backpackers being terrorised by Mick Taylor, while this one is about Mick’s world being disturbed and he doesn’t like it.

Wolf Creek 1 was so effective because it didn’t reduce itself to horror movie clichés. The ‘final girl’ trope was thrown out the window. It was shocking. It was one of those awful things that disgust you yet you can’t look away. It was art you despised not because it was a poorly made film, but because the screenplay made you feel uncomfortable. The fact that we know Mick Taylor loses the shock value as well as the element of surprise. However, the good thing is we get to see him in action right away, rather than the slow burn of the first.

There’s an entertaining, yet also brutal scene later on which I’ll refer to as the “Australian pop quiz” scene. It gave us the chance to get to know our old mate Mick a bit better, as well as the main protagonist of the film. Without it, this movie would have been a disappointment.

There are some aspects of comedy in this sequel, although I don’t know what to call that “flying kangaroo” sequence. I did enjoy the other Aussie bits in the movie, although the ending let me down. It didn’t seem honest, and almost any other creative decision imaginable would have been better.

Spoilers in the next paragraph.

So Mick’s victim Paul doesn’t escape or die, but instead he lets him go after knocking him unconscious…after Paul hit him in the hammer and spent the majority of the movie being chased by him. He should’ve been killed or escaped. The ending we were shown was the not very satisfying middle ground.

Spoilers end here.

If you liked the first movie, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this one, especially if you loved Mick Taylor, but if you didn’t like it, I doubt this will be an experience to die for. While there’s aspects I didn’t like, Wolf Creek 2 is still a morbidly entertaining ride.

Rating: 3.5/5

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