Wolf Creek, the Australian horror film that was released in 2005, is as brutal and disturbing as you may have heard. No, I am not going all Roger Ebert on this -- I thought it was brilliant and scary. After seeing a series of "fun" horror films (you know what I am talking about) and documentaries I was ready for a hard and dirty pic. I got what I wished for with Wolf Creek.
"Based" on true events (the Backpacker murders from the 1990s and the murder of Peter Falconio in 2001), Wolf Creek, on the surface, is a typical slasher film. Three backpackers get lost and are soon being hunted by a maniac killer. The difference here is the setting, the Australian outback, the victims, three likable people that I wanted to see live, and the killer, who doesn't let his sense of humor overshadow the fact that he is a menacing, scary son of a bitch. Director Greg Mclean gives us a slow build, allowing the audience time to get to know the backpackers. Two Brits, Kristy and Liz, hook up with Australian stud Ben. They decide to travel together to Wolf Creek, the site of a meteorite impact. Returning from the site they find that their car won't start. As they prepare to spend the night hunkered down, a man approaches with a tow truck. He offers to help the trio fix their car, but first he must tow it back to his ranch. As you can imagine, bad things happen.
Really bad things, like spines being severed and fingers cut off. The backpacker that we are led to believe will be the "Final Girl" does the typical "investigating" to establish the fact that the kindly tow truck driver has done this sort of thing before. Before you can say "They are Fucked" the blood starts to flow. This film is more brutal than gory, if that makes any kind of sense. We like the victims, and we "think" we like the tow truck driver as well, even though we know all along he is up to no good. He is funny and has some great one liners. But when the killing starts it is almost like he turns on us, the audience. His is sadistic and relentless. It is not funny at all.
The ending is quite interesting. There is one survivor, and what happens to the survivor directly relates to the Falconio case. Also, the exact fate of one of the victims is not clear, although it can't be good. It is set up for a sequel, but I really hope there isn't one. As much as I enjoyed (?) this film, I really don't want to spend anymore time with this particular bad guy. He is too real and scary, just like this film. Highly recommended.