Wolf Creek (2005) Movie Review

Wolf Creek (2005) Movie Review

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Wolf Creek (2005) crafted and directed by one Greg McLean. Basically, the movie explains why touring the outback without any form of self defense mechanism would be a bad idea. This is especially when you’re young just like the three characters depicted in the movie, less keen on detail and without the slightest idea of fixing a car. It would be necessary to consider all factors while addressing the movie Wolf Creek (2005) (cited in New York Times, 2005). After watching the movie I realized why it experienced great pre-release triumph and was appreciated all over the world. The movie is remarkable and definitely brought a new dimension to the Australia’s film sector. The movie should however not be over-praised since it has got its own set of negativities. The film contains bloody scenes where a group of young adults come across a psychopath who enjoys hurting them and spilling blood. I really felt like walking out when the killer wrecked the spine of one of his culprits. The movie creates a sensational and a frightening atmosphere. Greg McLean the movie director manages to capture my attention throughout the movie run time via high articulation of scenes. The movie manages to show the director’s skills at depicting scenes of torture, body mutilation, and screams. I bet the movie is a true thriller (Healy, 2009 p. 11).

The villain in the movie who to me gives the impression of a psychopath would pass a test as a misogynist. This is a person who has total dislike for women. This is depicted in the manner that he mistreats the women characters in the movie. Under normal circumstances, you would expect a man to have a soft spot for beautiful women. For example, Liz is mistaken when she tries to plead with Mick to let her go. He defies her pleas and proceeds to chop off her fingers then stabs her on the back (cited in Allmer, Brick & Huxley, 2012).

I love horror films but this one seemed different. Most thriller and horror films depict insane killings where there exists no fun for the killer or the culprits. The exception with Wolf Creek (2005) is that the killer seems to enjoy his murderous act and laughs hysterically as his victims scream in pain.  The first scenes of the movie are epic with the three young characters getting all merry before their excursion. The film first introduces three likable characters, that is, Liz and Kristy who are British tourists to Australia and Ben who is an attractive Australian guy. The trio head off to Cairns from Broome and are enthusiastic to have a good time (cited in Shelley, 2012).

One does not anticipate any form of violence in the movie based on its lively beginning. The writer of the film seems to have spared the first half for character development. It’s the only time one get to meet all the key characters of the film. We also get to see a little romance between Liz and Ben who get kissing tips from Kristy. I am disappointed by the turn of events, but anyway, what would one expect from a horror movie. Even in the event where the trio encounters a stranger Mick Taylor there is no slightest sign of threat. Mick helps them out after finding them stranded with a broken down truck which he offers to tow and repair at his place. At first the group seem hesitant to his offer but gives in due to lack of options. Mick seem very friendly to them and engages them in sweet conversation after they get to his place. Liz and Kristy appear to be alert on this guy’s peculiar attitude but Ben tends to be less concerned. As the drama unfolds, the guy turns out to be very different from the viewers’ expectation. Violence then falls with a thud in the movie where the rest of the scenes are bloody and ghastly (Shelley, 2012 p. 199).

Wolf Creek (2005) has vivid touches of suspense evoking scenes which transpires to the end. Key among them is how McLean manages to bring out irony of the stranger Mick who later terrorizes his visitors after pretending to be a Good Samaritan. The movie contains unexpected twists and the unfolding drama is purely unexpected. Mick drugs the three tourists with water and they don’t realize it and soon passes out. The next scene shows Liz who after awakening finds herself tied up. I bet every audience of this film is eager to see Liz free herself. She soon does this but her escape episode is cut short when she hears Kristy screaming. She runs to her rescue and is astonished to find Mick sexually assaulting her. From my point of view the thing that surprised Liz even more was the fact that Mick was their threat. Even though, Liz manages to distract Mick through setting ablaze the already dilapidated truck and helps Kristy as Mick is putting off the fire. This comes out as brilliant idea for the girls but it is short-lived as Mick discovers the trick (Villarejo, 2013, p. 125).

The daytime and night episodes show ability of the director to perfectly merge day and night shots naturally. He also achieves to show the spatial irony where the victims are unable to escape even with more than enough space for running. For example, one would expect the girls to escape far away from the sight after shooting Mick on the neck. It is disappointing to see Liz going back to Mick’s garage to find a car to run away with.  I experience more disillusionment seeing Liz viewing video footages instead of getting on with the escape plan. To my disappointment, the shot on the neck did not kill him and he manages to stab Liz from behind before she could start the car. After seeing this, the only hope for the audience is that Kristy has left the vicinity of Mick. It is heartbreaking to find out in the next scene that Kristy has not gone far enough from Mick. Mick soon catches up with Kristy and kills her as well. Scenes from this episode are bloody and horrifying (cited in Wilcox et al, 2014).

The movie portrays much originality compared to many horror films I have watched. It is not new to see a villain in a movie with psychic problems a Mick but McLean managed to do it perfectly. This is where Mick was first illustrated as a normal person his other character is observed at the onset of the assault. Additionally, the film’s main characters are real human beings without super natural powers. The effects are also perfect and incredibly real throughout the bloody scenes. For example when Mick chopped Liz’s finger the blood and gore came out so real (cited in Shelley, 2012).

My opinion is that Wolf Creek (2005) is not for all people. I strongly advise the people with a weak heart who cannot withstand bloody sites not to dare watch this movie. The horrific scenes in the movie are for the strong willed and may leave weak hearted with horrifying experiences. At times, I found myself turning away from the screen to lessen the shock of the violence. The audio itself is mesmerizing with all the panting and the screams which heightens the thrill and creates a horrific atmosphere. Be warned not to watch the movie if you don’t want to be scared out of your mind (Villarejo, 2013, p. 126).

Comparison of Wolf Creek with Similar Films

            The genre and plot of Wolf Creek (2005) falls in the same category of an American film The Blair Witch Project (1999), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) and an Australian film The Proposition(2005). The nature of events in these movies tends to be similar. The movies are bloody and horrific. Wolf Creek (2005) share the same premise as The Blair Witch Project (1999). This is where the plot of both films is nearly the same. The Blair Witch Project (1999) involves three young filmmakers who get lost in the woods. Both movies seemingly employ hand held cameras which is a unique feature they hold. The characterization of people in both films shows high correlation between American and Australian film makers. Just like Wolf Creek (2005), The Blair Witch Project (1999) employs four main characters, that is, the villain and the three young students. This allows the directors to effectively develop the plot through narrowing down to a small character base (cited in Allmer, Brick & Huxley, 2012).

The nature of story development in both films is similar. In The Blair Witch Project (1999), I could not predict the violence and brutal killings of the three young friends. Just like Wolf Creek (2005), violence comes unexpectedly. What begins as an epic excursion in both movies turns into a deadly massacre. The three students are completely unaware of the danger in the woods. I found the turn of events very dramatic as it was unpredictable. This indicates high relationship of horror film production in both countries. Both films manage to maintain character originality. It is visible that the directors in both films used real people for all characters. Just like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre(2003), the effects and characters in the film show originality. The splattering of blood for example in the movie looks real. The movies do not employ exaggerated effects build the characters. In both countries’ films, the villain is depicted as physically powerful, strong willed and with a great desire to kill. On the other hand, the culprits are depicted as fearful, confused and with limited options (Allmer, Brick & Huxley, 2012, p. 106).

I have observed that both the American and the Australian film directors choose the woods as the ideal location to shoot horrific movies. The only difference is the geographical setting in both countries. The landscape and other geographical features in the films are different. The American films The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) and The Blair Witch Project (1999) are shot in coniferous woods while Australian films Wolf Creek (2005) and The Proposition (2005) are shot in the tropical woods of Australia. The main difference however is that with Australian films the directors are more concerned with achieving a landmark status in their films as opposed to the American films. The directors of Wolf Creek (2005) and The Proposition (2005) embrace local character in the movies to build the narrative. Such include the Australian tourism culture, depicting local crime event in the film, as well as vivid Australian landscape. The films achieve cultural print not attained by the American films of the same category (Beardwood,  Shea & Roberts, 2011, p. 190).

Conclusion

            The film Wolf Creek (2005) is a stunning piece of art for horror and thriller movie fans. Fans who appreciate mild form of suspense will definitely find the first half of McLean’s flick interesting while those who love gruesome episodes will enjoy the movie to the end. The real genius in the movie is how the director manages to merge the two sections of the story through collaborating real characters. The film derives similarities from films of the same category directed and produced in America as well as some Australian films. From the comparison analysis, it is visible that American and Australian film industry is highly related (cited in Shelley, 2012).

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