Friday, July 11, 2014

Wolf Creek 2 Movie Review: A Pale Imitator

Runtime: 106 minutes
Release Date: April 17, 2014
Rating: NR
Director: Greg Mclean

Two police officers working in the wilds of Australia want to catch a speeder and get some action. After noticing a truck driving a little too fast, they decide to pull him over. The driver, Mick Taylor, acts like he's surprised they stopped him and attempts to leave before they reveal that they're serious. Mick gleefully kills them both, shooting one and decapitating him before tying up the other officer and setting him and the car on fire.

Cut to two German tourists backpacking through the wilds. After heading to Wolfe Creek, they try to get a ride back to civilization but find themselves stuck. They decide to camp overnight and try to find a ride the following morning. While fooling around in their tent, they see a bright light outside. Mick steps out, warns them that it's illegal to camp in a national park, and offers to drive them to the nearest town. The man feels a little uncomfortable and denies his request, which leads to Mick stabbing him in the back.

Instead of running, the female tourist goes into shock and literally cannot function. Mick grabs her, forces her to the ground, and attempts to rape her, but her boyfriend pops up and smacks him over the head. This is the point where my nurse roommate went off about how the guy should be dead. As they fight, the girl continues to basically lay on the ground and cry. Katarina, the girl, later wakes and sees Mick chopping her boyfriend into small pieces.

This is the point where she realizes that she should probably get her ass in drive. While he's distracted, she runs off into the wilderness and manages to hide from him. Katarina gets to the road, flags down a car, and jumps inside. The driver, Paul, is a surfer visiting from Britain, and while he can't necessarily understand her, he does offer to help. Mick chases them down the road and manages to fire off a shot, which kills Katarina on the spot. It then becomes a cat and mouse game between Mick and Paul, and once Mick catches him, all bets are off.

Wolf Creek was a great movie. When Blockbuster went out of business, every store around here somehow had dozens (and sometimes hundreds) of copies in stock, and I ended up buying a replacement for my missing copy. Most of the horror movie fans I know were undecided on the film, but I liked it. As soon as I heard there was a sequel that featured the same guy and the same director, I couldn't wait to see it. That said, I wasn't crazy about Wolf Creek 2.

This is the classic example of a sequel showing way too much of a villain. I was a big fan of Vacancy 2 just because that movie set up the characters from the original and showed why they did what they did. This one seemed like it wanted us to learn even more about Mick, but I don't really need to know that much about him. Do I care that he hates the British? Not really. It would make sense if the film revealed some big reason why he would hate tourists and go after them, but it seems more like he just doesn't like people.

Wolf Creek 2 occasionally felt more like a remake than a sequel. While the opening moments were amazing, we then get stuck following two annoying tourists. The scenes of them backpacking together, talking with other tourists, getting rides, and basically sightseeing left me checking my watch and wondering where this was all going. Then, as soon as we finally get invested and want to see Katarina survive, she's dead. We then need to invest in an entirely new character, and in the end, the movie pretty much ends in the same way the first one did.

Though Wolf Creek 2 got some good reviews, I'll stick with the original.

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