WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT?
After a long long wait…. horror fans rejoice as Mick returns to the horror fold with a new knife, new tourists and an all new thirst of blood……
THE HUGHES VERDICT!
Its been a long time since we last saw Mick Taylor. Nine years to be precise, when Greg Mclean give the world the modern classic Wolf Creek and terrified a generation into never going backpacking in the Australian outback. Despite the massive critical acclaim and a thirst for more of Mick from horror fans, it seemed a sequel was never going too arrive. Mclean was too busy making the likes of Rouge and the torture cycle that brilliantly played out in the 2005 original was now replaced with the forever entries of found footage horror and it seemed that Mick was destined to only ever have one terrifying tale to his name.
Shock horror then that Mclean finally got off his backside and grabbed the stunning John Jaratt back into his signature role for Wolf Creek 2, a film out on Region 1 but yet to be released here in the land of Britain. After all these years, is the knife of Mick still sharp or is the expectation level for this film so high that its doomed to failure?
Well yes or no!
Wolf Creek 2 suffers from the same problem most horror sequels fail from. After all the years and many returns from the likes of Freddy, Jason and Michael, surely someone would twig that a sequel can match the standard of its original, if it sticks to what served it well. The original Nightmare of Elm Street had Freddy scary because he was a mystery and kept in the shadows, nothing like the one liner comedian that would greet us in Part 4. Michael himself was a silent shape that stalked babysitters for no reason, until the Halloween sequel offered us a crazy family storyline that once more ruined the mystic of the character.
Every horror follow up tries to outdo its original by being bigger, bloodier and putting the bogeyman on camera for more screen time. Many fans will tell you that “more” sometimes dilutes the quality and this is what Wolf Creek 2 suffers from…… its a bloodbath from the off and Mick being on screen more times than we would have liked.
The tone from the start will show every fan of the original Wolf Creek that its follow up is a total different beast from before. Mick as already killed and tortured two people before we hit the fifteen minute mark and from that you can see what I mean by this being more in your face and a bit of a shock to the system. The original was famous for its slow build up. Nothing much happens in the first half hour and for those who complained about the patient restraint then you will be in your element here. You could say Wolf Creek 2 will appease more of those who love horror quick and gruesome but then will disappoint those who loved the original’s slow approach.
After deposing of two opening victims, the film moves on to a German backpacking couple Rutger and Katarina (Philippe Klaus and Shannon Ashley) who after a brief moment of holiday happiness are soon plunged into a meeting with our Mick and things soon get ugly. A third character in the shape of Paul (Ryan Corr) gets added to the mix and by the time we hit the forty minute mark we are sort of entering a kind of Hitcher re-make, which is not a bad thing for those who loved the 80’s classic.
That’s it for storyline! I would love to say that Wolf Creek 2 has a meaty plot to bite into, but really this is just a one long chase movie and really offers nothing new to the established and well known formula. The saving point and the reason why this franchise is suck a beauty is because of the lead character. I can”t explain how terrifying and evil Mick is! His on-screen presence is a joy to behold and he really deserves to be up there in the hall of fame with Jason and co. His pursuit of his victims is the reason why you just cant take your eyes off the film and fair play on Jarratt who is clearly loving every minute of his vicious assault in his signature role.
The final half is where the franchise of Wolf Creek is at its best. The last twenty minutes where we sort of enter a kind of bogeyman Lair and Mick’s wise cracking laugh being heard from the shadows is a clear case of the attempt into turning this character into franchise killing machine. But its the long torture scene where Mick plays a drinking game with one of his victims is where this sequel will be remembered for. Its a brilliant set-piece of nerve shedding tension that matches everything the original offered.
Many thought that Wolf Creek 2 could never match the heights of its predecessor and while it fails to reach the high standard that it originally set, there is a lot to like about this long awaited return. Slasher fans will be thrilled that they have a new evil bastard too root for and no doubt they will beg for a third film, while gore-hounds will be overjoyed by the amounts of the red stuff that gets splashed across the screen.
For me personally, this long awaited sequel was a bit of a shock as I expected it too be more in tone with the original, the heavy body count and the straight for kill opening was totally unexpected and while it fails in quality to that of its original film, how can I find fault when you see a scene of Mick the bogeyman riding a horse towards his prey………not even Freddy, Michael or Jason can say they have done that…..