Wolf Creek 2 Blu-ray Review
I’ve written before about horror films and I quite enjoy them from time to time, but one thing that drives me crazy is the seemingly obligatory sequels that so many horror films seem to churn out. It’s one of the sadder trends in Hollywood that has started to replicate across other genres of film as well… basically if the film makes back the money it cost to produce and to cover another venture (while putting some money back into the investors hands) then it’s sequel time! Thankfully from time to time they are actually pretty good… but the most recent one to grace my shelf (hoping to get onto all of yours) is WOLF CREEK 2. Is it the former or the latter?
WOLF CREEK 2 is a loosely tied together story following the Australian boogeyman Mick Taylor (played by Australian actor John Jarratt). Mick Taylor is a character based on at least two serial killers who attacked people in various parts of Australia. Unlike its predecessor (WOLF CREEK, 2005) WOLF CREEK 2 doesn’t follow a traditional story arc and really suffers for it. Instead of having us identify with any of Taylor’s victims, this sequel seems to try to take the viewpoint of Taylor and give us a little glimpse into the strange world of the outback. It succeeds only rarely because Taylor isn’t the type of character with whom anyone should want to identify.
Featuring brilliant cinematography and some decent acting, especially toward the end of the 2nd act and throughout much of the 3rd, WOLF CREEK 2 is a sequel (and a movie, in general) that just sits several rungs below average. The soundtrack, what little music is presented, gives the movie an interesting and certainly original feeling. But the entire thing is dragged down by the lack of any real narrative arc and the lack of any characters through which we can experience the story.
As I said, only in the 3rd act do we get to see anything interesting. The character introduced near the middle of the film, Paul Hammersmith (played by Aussie Ryan Corr) finally gets to do something other than run for his life and we get a glimpse of something more which is probably what inspired the enjoyment of the first movie. Intimate interactions with Mick Taylor are far more interesting (and at times absolutely repelling) than the rest of the movie and leave us with the feeling that we missed out on something that could have been truly special.
WOLF CREEK 2 is a mixed bag but ultimately offers far less than fans of this franchise deserve.it feels like a money-grab, honestly, rather than a real visit back to the world of Mick Taylor. But when you take into the account the “Director’s Cut deleted scenes” (see below) there are hints that an actual story was set to occur and then something derailed it. Perhaps it was the sluggish pace or the lack of structure? Perhaps the writing was just worse than they expected? Either way, WOLF CREEK 2 falls short of its predecessor in just about every regard.
Video: (1080p Widescreen 2.35:1) The video presentation of WOLF CREEK 2 features the brilliant cinematography of Toby Oliver, someone who has been involved traditionally in only Australian productions. If the glorious shots of the outback are any indication I hope we get to see his work soon on bigger budget pictures.
Audio: (English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio) The audio for WOLF CREEK 2 is also well presented with an immersive HD soundtrack.
Creating a Monster: The Making of WOLF CREEK 2 (52:07) WOLF CREEK 2 features a very detailed look at the making of the film from inception to casting to shooting. This is a truly great documentary feature on a level I would not have expected from a movie like this and well worth a view if you are into filmmaking.
Director’s Cut – Deleted Scenes (23:56) These scenes primarily introduce the German couple who are backpacking when they are discovered by Mick during the night. Some really beautiful shots of the Australian outback sadly did little to move forward the plot and had to be cut. They are, in some ways, far more interesting than the final film since we actually see a relationship, but on the whole they are far too slowly paced and would have really disjointed the final cut of WOLF CREEK 2. (It might have actually benefited from this.) Included scenes, available only in one long strip, are Backpacker’s Hostel, German’s Campsite, Sacred Canyon Waterhole, Colonial Cemetary, Butcher Rutger, Meeting Paul Hammersmith, Rabbit Truck Chase, Paul Finds a House, Paul at Dinner