A group of friends whose leisurely Mexican holiday takes a turn for the worse when they, along with a fellow tourist embark on a remote archaeological dig in the jungle, where something evil lives among the ruins.
Four interwoven stories that occur on Halloween: An everyday high school principal has a secret life as a serial killer; a college virgin might have just met the one guy for her; a group of teenagers pull a mean prank; a woman who loathes the night has to contend with her holiday-obsessed husband.
Just when you thought it was safe to go hiking in the bushes again...along comes Mick Taylor. Kristy, Ben and Liz are three pals in their twenties who set out to hike through the scenic Wolf Creek National Park in the Australian Outback. The trouble begins when they get back only to find that their car won't start. The trio think they have a way out when they run into a local bushman named Mick Taylor. Wait until you get a load of what Mick has in store for them. Their troubles have just begun. Written by
Les MacDonald at email@example.com
Wolf Creek has a completely standard basic story for this kind of genre movie - travelers in isolated location encounter sadistic nut. Despite this, it's what writer/director Greg McLean does with the details which makes a difference.
The outback locations are rendered with a nice eye and evoke a sense of spooky isolation - anything could happen to you out here and no-one would know, much less be able to help. There is also the much discussed 'dark side of Crocodile Dundee' element - frankly, I can't believe it's taken so long for someone to conjure this one up, and McLean clearly delights in stabbing a knife through the heart of the mythical Aussie archetype. I think he's actually gotten to an uncomfortable, close-to-the-bone truth about the psyche of certain Aussie males, and John Jarret is eerily similar to the kind of individual one would encounter in many a country pub down under.
The fact that this is an Australian film also makes it a rare bird indeed. For some unfathomable reason, the Oz industry rarely does genre, and when it does, usually doesn't do it well. With this in mind, Wolf Creek is something of a breath of fresh air. Yes, it hews pretty closely to the codes and rules of its genre, but for the most part it does it well, and for my money, what works about the film is strong enough to make some of the weaker plot moments forgivable.
Will Gibson's HD camera-work is impressive, maintaining a consistent style from start to finish, aided by solid editing, score and sound design. Now maybe people will stop whining about how 'we can't make genre films here' and we might see some imagination and variety creep into Australian cinema.
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