Back in 2005, when Greg McLean delivered is Aussie slasher Wolf Creek to the Sundance Film Festival, horror fans were clamoring for ultra-violent cinema. With films like Jeepers Creepers, Wrong Turn, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Cabin Fever, Freddy vs. Jason, Saw and Hostel reeking havoc on box office competitors, it was clear that “hardcore” was what the people wanted. That didn’t last long as Hollywood turned to J-horror reboots, remakes, and then found-footage subgenres – all of which have since died. What is it that people want from horror these days? Well, it’s unclear as we’re in a transition stage, but what I can tell you is that anything fun is going to work with audiences. Nearly a decade since its festival premiere, McLean has returned to the Outback with slasher Mick Taylor (John Jarratt) and his hunting tools, this time taking genre fans on a blast of a blood-soaked ride that’s so incredibly fun that it taps into the spirit of the later A Nightmare on Elm Street sequels.
Wolf Creek felt like a torture film, sort of in the vein of the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre. The sequel approaches the subgenre from a completely different direction, this time by moving the pace and delivering hilarious set pieces that will have the audience cheering (I was in tears laughing when Mick Taylor mows over a troop of kangaroo with a truck).
And speaking of Mick Taylor, McLean makes the bold choice to turn him into the film’s protagonist/anti-hero. The sequel isn’t actually told from the perspective of new backpackers, but instead from the psycho eyes of the Outback slasher. This is what brings the Elm Street qualities out, and injects Wolf Creek 2 with an insane amount of joy. While it’s still brutal as hell (Taylor cuts off the penis of one of his prey), this time McLean lets the audience enjoy themselves instead of feeling like they were punched in the gut.
What also propels the film to greatness is that John Jarratt delivers one of the best slasher performance in history, turning Mick Taylor into a maniacal, hilarious, and still terrifying mass murderer.
Wolf Creek 2 is the slasher horror fans have been dying for; it’s like Crocodile Dundee, High Tension, Texas Chain Saw and Elm Street all mixed into one insanely fun, yet dirty, grimy and vicious slasher massacre. Wear a raincoat because you will get wet…