I didn’t see Wolf Creek 1. Not because it was ‘Torture Porn’.
I didn’t see Wolf Creek because it was an Australian film.
As such likely to be badly written, badly acted and dull. Australian Boredom Porn. Which carries the tedious responsibility for portraying us to the rest of the world. The sanctioned portrayal being a quirky, friendly, sunny place – surrounded by forbidding scenery. Twenty five years behind the rest of the world in some respects. Especially those respects that pertain to serial killers.
Well, on the edge of Mick Taylor‘s knife, and by the skin of his teeth, we just caught up.
For those (like me) who are Wolf Creek initiates I’ll outline the plot. Mick Taylor (John Jarrett) is a professional pig shooter roaming around the desert, shooting pigs and doing whatever he likes. Mick is a predator. And in the Australian outback – his outback – he is at the top of the food chain. Make no mistake girlie. Like all predators he has an ecological purpose and a modus operandi. He exists to get rid of vermin (foreigners) and anyone who assists them. Rugged individualist. Wry sense of humour. Self reliant. Down to earth. No airs ‘n’ graces and a ruddy great big dag to boot.
Can turn his hand to anything – and anyone. A man’s man is Mick. The kind of helpful Aussie you’d like to show up if your car broke down on a desert highway.
Apart from the bit about the slaughtering.
So firstly he deals with a couple of officious SA Highway Patrol officers, then goes on to stalk some backpackers, finally starts terrorising a British traveller (Ryan Corr) who tries to help to the backpackers out. Part of this terrorising involves a parody (I’m sure) of John Howard’s citizenship test.
If you’re watching a film there is nothing like authenticity and Wolf Creek 2 is drenched in it. You’re thinking blood right? Well no. The authenticity is everything about Mick Taylor. The speech patterns, the truck, the guns, the attitudes – all dissolving into the slow, chilling transition from over-friendly, comical knock-a-bout bushie to something unsettling, then something inhuman.I know people like that. They just don’t progress all the way along the spectrum that I’m aware of.
Wolf Creek 2 did everything I could ask of a film of this type and more. It shocked me, it scared me and it made me think. Mick Taylor is the Australia that we don’t like to talk about or admit to, but the Australia we are on our way to becoming. We appear nice, we appear friendly, we seem to be self-deprecating and easy going. Are we really? Mick’s ethos suits the untrammeled free market to a tee. “In this world, there’s people like me, there’s people like you. People like me eat people like you. That makes me the winner, and you…the loser”
This is a really polarising film and it is hard to watch but not as gratuitous as many films, and I don’t think as shocking as some of the more hysterical reviews and opinion pieces would have you all believe. Either its too graphic. Its too nasty, the humour is over the top and mis-placed or it doesn’t live up to Wolf Creek 1, or all of the above.
For me it gets back to authenticity, and that is why Wolf Creek 2 packs such a punch. Bring on WC3.
10 out of 10
Director, Greg McLean
Writer, Greg McLean, Aaron Streans