Saturday, July 5, 2014

Wolf Creek [Australia, 2005]

Nine Things about the Movie Wolf Creek

1. This low budget serial-killer thriller manages to be better than almost all horror movies America has put out in the decade since it was made.

2. Of course, it’s “based on a true story”. Of course, this story never happened. The movie was based on elements of several crime cases in recent Australian history.

3. The first half of the movie is relatively slow, to make sure you get to know the main characters, two British female tourists who are backpacking across Australia with their Australian friend Ben. During their travels their car breaks down, and they are rescued by a kindly old man who takes them back to his mining site camp.

4. The second half of the movie tells you what happens to them when they reach the old man’s camp. It is a cruel, violent, rush.

5. If you get a chance, look for the name of the mining site camp written on a sign. Spelled backwards, it’s the name of a serial killer the movie is based on.

6. The movie was hated by many mainstream critics, who were appalled at the brutality and bleakness of the film. Roger Ebert gave it a rare rating of zero stars.

7. But other critics placed it on various “best of” horror lists, for the exact same reason. I am one of these critics.

8. What impressed me the most was how relatively smart this movie is - the characters feel genuine, and they have more common sense than your usual movie victims. The movie breaks some traditional rules of horror, so it’s hard to predict what is going to happen - which makes it hurt all the more when you see what does happen.

9. This movie is not for everyone, but it is an intelligent, intense, sadistic piece of work that has more courage 

than most of its contemporaries.