Wolf Creek (2005)

7.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Grindhouse style and John Jarratt

The story style is rather overused

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Wolf Creek

Studio:  FFC Australia/Film Finance Corporation

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  September 16, 2005 (UK)/December 25, 2005 (US)

MPAA Rating:  R


The Wolfe Creek meteor crater…a huge, well maintained park that no one goes to…ok, let’s start killing

Liz Hunter (Cassandra Magrath) and Kristy Earl (Kestie Morassi) are English girls out for an adventure with their Australian friend Ben Mitchell (Nathan Phillips).  Travelling into the Outback, they head to the meteor crash site of Wolf Creek where they find themselves stranded.  It seems like good fortune when they meet Mick Taylor (John Jarratt) who agrees to give them a tow.  Falling asleep at his home, they wake up in a world of terror…Mick Taylor is a killer, a maniac, and a hunter…and they are his prey.

Directed by Greg McLean, Wolf Creek is an Australian horror survival film.  The movie received mixed reviews from critics but was praised in Australia.  There was a lot of attention drawn to the violence against women in the movie leading critics including Roger Ebert to disliked the film, but the low budget film also was a box office success.


Time to die!

Wolf Creek is presented as a true story…it isn’t.  The movie borrows its “ideas” from the murder of a British tourist in 2001 named Peter Falconio by Bradley John Murdoch.  Other than Falconio and his girlfriend were flagged down by Murdoch in the Outback, and Falconio was subsequently killed, the movie has very little to do with this event.

The story for the movie takes a rather typical horror film format.  It is the style which has the characters seemingly having a great time in a very un-horror film location and slowly getting into trouble.  This is used in countless other films like High Tension, The Ruins, and even The Blair Witch Project, but Wolf Creek does an effective job of it.  The Mick Taylor character is relentless and scary in his charm and insanity.


Jennifer Aniston is after me for stealing her look!

The movie owes a lot to John Jarratt for bringing this Mick Taylor character to life.  Though he doesn’t show up until well into the film, he is obviously the star of the film and the other characters are rather incidental.  Jarratt is fairly prolific in Australian film and TV, but audiences here might know him from his role in Picnic at Hanging Rock from 1975…but with this movie, he finally became much more recognizable worldwide.

The movie is shot in a rather grindhouse fashion.  Be it the actual horror of the film which feels dirty and hard edged or the car scenes with Jarratt driving down the characters straight out of Mad Max, the movie has a real old feel to it, but it combined with a more modern storytelling technique.

Wolf Creek was one of those surprise films that actually kind of worked.  The style and format of Wolf Creek is rather tired nowadays, but Wolf Creek manages to surprise and shock you at points.  Borrowing from lots of other Australian film’s styles, the movie is a hard hitting horror thriller.  Wolf Creek was followed by Wolf Creek 2 in 2013.

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Related Links:

Wolf Creek 2 (2013)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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