Wolf Creek 2 (2014)

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Wolf Creek 2 (2014)Starring John Jarratt, Ryan Corr, Shannon Ashlyn, Philippe Klaus

Directed by Greg McLean

Australian people are mean! Movies like Turkey Shoot, Razorback and The Loved Ones have told me this. But there’s no meaner fictional down under death-dealer than Mick Taylor, an outback baddie first introduced in (you guessed it) Wolf Creek back in 2005. It’s taken him almost ten years to come back with a vengeance, but his knife and his wit are as sharp as ever.

Character actor John Jarratt returns as the sadistic serial killer and he delivers another peppery performance. His wicked laugh and his hoarse voice are still the perfect soundtrack to the cocking of his shotgun and the sharpening of his hunting knife.

But beware: a la Freddy Krueger, Chucky, et al, the antagonist is cartoony. While it’s more comedic than the first film, Wolf Creek 2 is still plenty brutal, bloody and balls-out. (Literally… some men will surely be crossing their legs during the movie.) I love animals, but I must confess I was laughing out loud during an outrageously crazy highway car chase in which several (CGI) Skippys find themselves under the wheels of Mick’s big-ass truck. As Mick speeds after a terrified victim (“Welcome to Australia, cocksucker!” he shouts gleefully), it feels a bit like Duel but with a whole heap of blood and crushed kangaroos.

Mick’s M.O. is about the same – find tourists, torture them, and then kill and butcher them. But he’s added a long, tedious Q&A to his repertoire. Although I am sure it’s not the entire second half, it felt like it as the movie dragged on and on with Mick’s cruel quiz, only to cop-out in an abrupt and nonsensical ending.

Still, I think the movie is worth watching – the horror effects are excellent, there is a high level of suspense in the first half, some genuine surprises, director Greg Mclean brings it as only he can, and it’s fun to see maniacal Mick back in evil action.

3 out of 5

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Staci Layne Wilson