Wolf Creek

December 25th, 2005


Wolf Creek

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Wolf CreekWolf CreekKestie Morassi at event of Wolf CreekGreg Mclean at event of Wolf CreekGreg Mclean and Bob Weinstein at event of Wolf CreekGreg Mclean and Nathan Phillips at event of Wolf Creek

Stranded backpackers in remote Australia fall prey to a murderous bushman who offers to fix their car, then takes them captive.

Release Year: 2005

Rating: 6.3/10 (29,952 voted)

Critic's Score: 54/100

Director: Greg Mclean

Stars: Nathan Phillips, Cassandra Magrath, Kestie Morassi

Just when you thought it was safe to go hiking in the bushes again...along comes Mick Taylor. Kristy, Ben and Liz are three pals in their twenties who set out to hike through the scenic Wolf Creek National Park in the Australian Outback. The trouble begins when they get back only to find that their car won't start. The trio think they have a way out when they run into a local bushman named Mick Taylor. Wait until you get a load of what Mick has in store for them. Their troubles have just begun.

John Jarratt - Mick Taylor
Cassandra Magrath - Liz Hunter
Kestie Morassi - Kristy Earl
Nathan Phillips - Ben Mitchell
Gordon Poole - Old Man
Guy O'Donnell - Car Salesman
Phil Stevenson - Mechanic
Geoff Revell - Petrol Attendant
Andy McPhee - Bazza
Aaron Sterns - Bazza's Mate
Michael Moody - Bazza's Old Mate
Andrew Reimer - Flashback Dad
Vicki Reimer - Flashback Mum
Isabella Reimer - Flashback Girl
David Rock - Irish Backpacker

Taglines: How can you be found when no one knows you're missing

Release Date: 25 December 2005

Filming Locations: Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Box Office Details

Budget: $1,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: £554,618 (UK) (18 September 2005) (292 Screens)

Gross: $27,762,648 (Worldwide) (11 September 2008)

Technical Specs

Runtime:  | (unrated version)

Did You Know?

Director Greg Mclean originally wanted to shoot the film on MiniDV but director of photographer Will Gibson persuaded him to shoot it on HD instead, as it was felt that HD would capture more of the background landscape than MiniDV would.

Anachronisms: The movie is set in August 1999, however, a Euro note and an 'Elizabeth Fry' five pound note are pinned on the wall in Mick's hideout. Euros and Elizabeth Fry fivers did not come into circulation until 2002.

Liz Hunter: Thanks again for helping us out.
Mick Taylor: No worries.
Liz Hunter: Obviously it would be great to get going as soon as possible.
Mick Taylor: No worries.

User Review

Surprisingly effective and chilling.

Rating: 9/10

Let me preface this by saying that I did not view the trailer before I saw this movie, nor did I really know anything about it. I do not know if that will lessen the impact at all, but it might (not sure what they show in the trailer).

Writer/producer/director McLean shot this movie on a digital HD handy cam, giving it an amateurish feel - but it is far from amateur. The first 45 minutes feel like a completely different movie than the last hour or so, and that is one of this movie's many strengths. McLean spends time letting the audience get to know the three main protagonists, who are Liz, Kristy, and Ben. They girls, who are both from Britain, are nearing the end of their Australian excursion, and they set off with their new Aussie mate, Ben, on a road trip/backpacking trip across the country.

McLean has an eye for the unsettling, even in the mostly warm first minutes, and he uses the stark colors and landscapes of the deepening outback to give it a slowly building sense of dread. Their are a few ominous signs - a dog barking viciously at something off screen, a rather unpleasant encounter in an out of the way gas station, and an awkward conversation about UFOs and aliens. I knew it was a horror movie, and the slow buildup is a wonderful way to create true and genuine tension.

Another thing that creates tension is the fact that the three main characters are so well fleshed out, and feel so real, that the audience begins to care for them. Knowing it is a horror movie, we know that something is eventually going to happen, and beginning segment, in its quiet, tender moments, make you wonder when that is going to happen. It's all part of the extremely good package.

Another thing to like about this horror movie is that the characters, for the most part, do not do any stupid things or horror clichés; rather, they are trying to survive and they do respond in believable ways to the horrors around them. And when those horrors finally come, after an particularly amazing segue (going to sleep...sunset...waking up hogtied), they do not let up.

Part of the criticism of this movie is that it is realistically violent and brutal, but it's a juxtaposition from the first half. It's also a juxtaposition of civilized vs. uncivilized, and the sterile, uncompromising landscape of the Outback is the perfect place for this to occur. There wasn't an over the top amount of gore, which is good, because the cruelty of what the three endure is enough to churn anyone's stomach. However, the movie is not just simple exploitation - far from it, actually. It's about that deep-seated fear of the unknown, and what could happen in an unfamiliar place.

McLean, while following a somewhat formulaic idea, stays far away from the usual stupidity. The fact that we have grown to care for the three main characters is why the second half is so effective, because there are things that happen to them that are so brutal that you feel it right with them.

'Wolf Creek' is one of the few good/great horror movies I've ever seen.


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