Cast: John Jarratt, Cassandra Magrath, Nathan Phillips, Kestie Morassi,
Director: Greg McLean
Screenplay: Greg McLean
Rated: R 18+ high level realistic violence, strong coarse language
Running Time: 99 Minutes
How Can You Be Found When No One Knows You're Missing?
'Wolf Creek' is based on actual events.
It is set in Broome, Western Australia, 1999.
30 000 people are reported missing in Australia every year.
90% are found within a month.
Some are never seen again.
The chillingly believable events begin as freewheeling, college-aged pals Liz (Cassandra Magrath), Kristy (Kestie Morassi) and Ben (Nathan Phillips) head out for a holiday hike in stunning Wolf Creek National Park to see its mysterious meteor crater. When they return, their car won't start. Trapped in the vast emptiness of the wilderness - all they can do is wait for rescue.
English backpackers Liz (Cassandra Magrath) and Kristy (Kestie Morassi) and their Australian travelling companion Ben (Nathan Phillips) set out from Broome, Western Australia, headed for Cairns but make a detour along the way to see a crater at Wolf Creek National Park. When they return to their car, their watches have stopped and their car won't start but relief comes later in the night when a local arrives and offers his support. This local, Mick (John Jarratt), is not what he seems and by the next morning, the trio are in a fight for their survival against a horrific attack from their supposed knight in shining armour.
Full of authentic Australian images, 'Wolf Creek' is at long last an Australian horror movie that is actually suspenseful, gripping and absorbing. Sure, it is the real deal as far as being overtly Australian, and some may think that even the character of the evil psycho Mick is a caricature, but for those that have travelled in the outback (myself included), these people and places really do exist and for that, this production is to be applauded.
Lingering expectant shots of the barren outback, coupled with the atmosphere of isolation add up to a convincing feeling of the enormity of the situation that the three young adventurers face as they stumble into a long-standing reign of terror.
The performances of the four leads are all excellent, but perhaps the build-up to the visual and sometimes graphic horror is long - it takes nearly an hour before any real trauma begins - but that just adds to the slow crescendo into doom and also gives an opportunity to build the characters into something recognisable. Although the killer is known, there is no rationale given for his behaviour, which actually adds to shock of the situation and accepting that this person is a long-term serial killer.
Shot on a relatively small budget in South Australia, 'Wolf Creek' is a genuine Australian horror flick guaranteed to make you re-think a backpacking adventure.
Rating : ****