Last week, Rue Morgue screened Greg McLean's follow up to his 2005 survivalist slasher Wolf Creek at The Royal for their May edition of Cinemacabre.
Mick Taylor (John Jarratt) continues his reign of terror in the Australian outback.
This was a solid sequel for a number of reasons, first and foremost being John Jarratt. I've heard Mick Taylor described as an “insane Crocodile Dundee”, and if you cross that with say John Ryder from The Hitcher, I think that's as apt a description as any. McLean, along with writer Aaron Sterns, give him more characterization this time around, further delving into the theme of xenophobia touched on in the first film. Whether Mick uses this as a real motivation or just an excuse to justify his grievous acts remains to be seen, but he certainly seems to enjoy what he does.
|John Jarratt as Mick Taylor in Wolf Creek 2
I also appreciated that McLean and company tried to distinguish this one from the first by doing some things differently. Wolf Creek 2 bucked the final girl trend by making the protagonist male (played by Ryan Corr) and I thought it created a rather fresh dynamic. I was surprised by how much it worked, as I've spoken before about how this type of thing creates a disconnect with me. I was also impressed with some of the set pieces, as there are some great chase sequences, including one involving a big rig. Once again, the cinematography is top notch. Toby Oliver uses the landscape to its fullest potential with a varied array of tight and wide shots.
I did have a few problems with the movie though, as there were some logic leaps. A German character seemed to have a spine made of steel – if all Krauts were as resilient as this guy, they would have won the war – and I wished the old couple that appeared in the middle had been utilized a little better, but these are minor qualms. I do have to mention I wasn't crazy about the ending. It seemed incongruent with Mick's modus operandi and went against everything that had been established previously. Oh, I could've done without all the CG kangaroos, as well.
|Tie me kangaroo down, SPLAT!
After the film, writer Aaron Sterns was Skyped in from Singapore. He had some cool tidbits to share, including that the truck crash was all done practically, eating up a good chunk of the seven-million dollar budget and their references to films like Texas Chainsaw, Duel and the aforementioned The Hitcher were all intentional. I also learned that there is a novel out about the origins of Mick Taylor, aptly titled Wolf Creek: Origin.
Wolf Creek 2 is a great follow-up to one of the better millennial slashers out there. Next up for Greg McLean is 6 Miranda Drive starring Kevin Bacon. This one is apparently a haunted house flick so, after mastering the more grounded terrors of Rogue and Wolf Creek, I'm interested to see what he can do with supernatural material.