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Wolf Creek (2005)

6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 49,968 users   Metascore: 54/100
Reviews: 676 user | 261 critic | 26 from Metacritic.com

Stranded backpackers in remote Australia fall prey to a murderous bushman who offers to fix their car, then takes them captive.

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Title: Wolf Creek (2005)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Cassandra Magrath ...
...
...
Gordon Poole ...
...
Phil Stevenson ...
Geoff Revell ...
...
Bazza
Aaron Sterns ...
Michael Moody ...
Andrew Reimer ...
Vicki Reimer ...
Isabella Reimer ...
David Rock ...
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Storyline

Three backpackers travel into the Australian Outback, only to find themselves stranded at Wolf Creek crater. Once there they are encountered by a bushman, Mick Taylor, who offers them a ride back to his place. Little do the three know that their adventure into the Outback, would be a complete nightmare after the backpackers find a way to escape.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

How can you be found when no-one knows you're missing? See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong gruesome violence, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

25 December 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El Cazador  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$42,667 (New Zealand) (10 March 2006)

Gross:

$78,573 (New Zealand) (17 March 2006)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (unrated)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Even though writer/director Greg Mclean did not write the role of Mick for anyone in particular, John Jarratt was the first and only actor to audition for the part. Jarratt was well known in Australia at the time as the host of a gardening show, but he was also a recognized actor. Mclean invited Jarratt to audition after he had seen him in a play called Dead Heart. Ironically, Jarratt was only working as a replacement for the regular star Brian Brown, who was ill the night Mclean attended. See more »

Goofs

When trying to start the car after leaving Wolf Creek, the engine wouldn't turn. Later he says that this is the coil pack. A faulty coil pack wouldn't stop the engine turning over. However, as Mick knows that none of the three backpackers know anything about engines, he can say whatever he likes is wrong, and they'll believe him. See more »

Quotes

Kristy Earl: [screaming at Taylor while she's tied-up] You loser!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The producers would like to thank ... the people of Hawker, Port Augusta, Flinders Ranges and South Australia, ... Frank, Marie and the entire Mclean family See more »

Connections

Referenced in Death Proof (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Devils Ride
(1994)
Written by Col Finley (as C. Finley)
Performed by Col Finley
(ABC Music Publishing/Mushroom Music Publishing)
Courtesy of ABC Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Surprisingly Devastating
3 January 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I was thrilled to see a movie like "Wolf Creek" come out in theatres: a straightforward horror film not relying on clever twists (except one, small one) or gimmicks. It was the kind of film "High Tension" started off as before that last act mindf*ck. And while I ended up appreciating what that movie did, I would have loved it more without the twist.

"Wolf Creek" picks up where films like "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and "Last House on the Left" left off, without feeling the need to necessarily "pay homage" to them. I wonder if the fact that it's not American-made has anything to do with that. I also wonder if the non-American influence kept this from becoming predictable or familiar in any way. What you think is going to happen in this film never quite happens. One of the original "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" taglines was, "Who Will Survive and What Will Be Left of Them?" I think this film asks the same question, but doesn't provide so simple an answer.

I think it's best to know little about "what happens" here before seeing it. Most people know the basics--three backpackers on a road trip, they stop at remote Wolf Creek, entering an odd Twilight Zone of stopped time and dead car engines. A friendly bushman stops by willing to help, let the nightmare begin.

I love that director/writer/producer Greg McLean never offers an explanation for the watches and the car engine. What happens in this film seems almost alien--three humans struggling to survive on what appears like a distant, barren planet, up against a hunter with no semblance of humanity in him. Yes, this movie is very similar to "Texas Chainsaw Massacre," but it is in no way a rip-off. While the early-morning showdown on the barren road may look similar to the climax of TCM, it is its own nightmarish entity. In fact, some of the scene reminded me of "Duel." The acting in this movie is brilliant. The three leads--Ben, Kristi, and Liz--are so wonderfully likable, and there is an odd feeling of improvisation in the acting. It's so natural, it seems impossible to script. When everything goes to hell, you want all three of them to survive, and you'll surely be devastated by the slightest injury any of them endures. Many have complained about the hour or so of build up, but I think it was brilliant on McLean's part to make sure we cared about these people, and then to put them through the wringer. It's sadistic, too, emotionally, but it's the sign of a great director.

John Jarratt, as Mick, is unforgettably cruel. Jarratt embodies this character from head to toe, and is fearless in his performance. Mick is an ugly, cruel man, and yet when we first meet him, he seems like the nicest guy in the world. One of the scariest aspects to this film is that you can see yourself falling for all of his tricks.

To be honest, I never want to see "Wolf Creek" again. It's not a fun movie. I left wanting to hate it, because I hated what happened. But I admire this movie for what it managed to do. I truly had to keep repeating to myself, "It's only a movie," (the infamous "Last House on the Left" tagline) but it's so realistic and so unflinching in portraying what happens, that you'll feel as if someone was always peeking around a corner with a camera, filming an actual event. Of course, this is based on true events, and frankly, there is some discrepancy to how "true" this film tries to be (obviously, much of the second act had to be dramatized, and you'll realize why once you see the movie) but it didn't need that "based on true events" tag. It's already very real.

I hate to end on the old "Jaws" cliché, but as I am going to Australia soon, I can say for a fact that this does do for backpacking what "Jaws" did for swimming. I consider this movie a parable of sorts. Well done.


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