Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Wolf Creek |
Actors: Nathan Phillips, Cassandra Magrath, Kestie Morassi, John Jarratt, Gordon Poole
Director: Greg Mclean
Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror
Welcome to Wolf Creek, where the suspense of The Blair Witch Project meets the horror of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Inspired by Australia?s "Backpacker Killer" who murdered seven backpackers in the ?90s, Wolf Creek won w... more »
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Very solid low-budget horror
General Zombie | the West | 12/30/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As per usual, there have been a great many moronic things said about this movie. Some critics have been offended by it, but don't let that make you think this is some sorta gorefest. The violence is intense and reasonably graphic, but it's certainly not gory in the conventional sense. I find it amusing that those who were offended by the film have more or less said that it was too horrifying, cause ya know, god forbid that someone actually be horrified by a horror movie. They've also said it is misogynistic, just like they've said about every other slasher movie ever. (Slasher movie isn't entirely appropriate for describing this, but it's as good as we'll get.) This is a particularly irritating complaint, first because they always say this, second because it's a bullcrap non-argument evasion intended to avoid any real analysis, and finally because it isn't true. In fact, it's even less true here than it usually is, cause the film doesn't make the killer into the hero. Yes, bad things happen to the women in this film, but we AREN'T supposed to be happy about it. And, of course, very bad things happen to men in the film as well, but who the hell cares about them anyway? Everyone knows that women are much, much more important than men. I also think it's interesting that the killer is a fat, greasy dude from out in the country, as they so often are in this sorta movie, yet it has not been accused of being bigoted against rural people, nor has any horror movie I've ever heard of. What a bizarre coincidence. Wonder why critics don't seem to care about those sorts of people. Maybe they really think that they all are killers. I dunno.
But, critical idiocy aside, this is a very nicely done horror film. The plot is simplicity itself- 3 youths are captured and tormented by a backwoods psychopath while vacationing near Wolf Creek in Australia. Subplots are rarely of interest in slasher films, and 'Wolf Creek' fortunately has none of them. Still, with the very small cast we get to know these characters quite a bit better than we usually would in a slasher film, and they are certainly far more likable than the hot young teens of the American slasher revival. (Of course that doesn't mean much, as said hot young teens are usually loathsome.)
'Wolf Creek' was really made on the cheap, only about 1 million bucks, I hear, and it's certainly got a rough, gritty look. Some people claim that grainy, DV films with handheld cameras are more realistic, which makes precisely no sense as life is not especially grainy, and I tend to hold my head fairly still. However, this technique can allow for a greater sorta intensity and physicality, which works well here. Despite the generally rough visuals, it's still got some rather beautiful cinematography at times, and the great Australian deserts are a fine backdrop for such events.
Yeah, the film does take a while to get going, certainly longer than is necessary, but seriously, are you guys all 3 years old or what? Go out in the lobby and drink your juice and then go potty, and then it'll almost be time for the killing to start. The acting is extremely good for a film with this kinda budget. The 3 leads all do a fine job, with some fairly authentic, if not exactly fascinating, casual banter in the first half of the film. Still, the second half is much more important, and they play it a bit different from most horror films, which is largely why this bothers so many critics. In most horror movies, none of the characters are ever authentically terrified. They're pretty nervous and jumpy and may let out a scream before they die, but they're pretty much in control. Not so here, as Magrath and Morassi spend much of the latter part of the movie in near hysterics, and are utterly convincing, with two of the finest performances of this sort since Marilyn Burns' classic turn in the original 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre'. John Jarrat is also excellent as the killer. They use a trick which is fairly common, in that we are introduced to him as if he were a normal character, who seems amiable enough, if a bit odd, and we then slowly see his violent side revealed. It's an old trick, but a good one, and it works especially well here, aided by his Australian accent, which are always inherently non-threatening to me, for some reason. He does get to be a bit wisecracking at times, but never to the point which he becomes the hero of the film.
Many will say this has an anticlimactic ending, and while I can't help but agree with this to some degree, it's also kind of interesting in that it is so different from what you'd usually see in this sorta film. The small cast also makes it quite a bit less predictable, as most slasher movies have the few central characters who will obviously survive, along with plenty of cannon fodder. With only 3 main characters there just aren't enough people to allow any meaningless little kills stuffed in at the beginning, and it's tougher to predict the order in which they will be offed.
Though I'm sure many of you are sick of hearing this, `Wolf Creek' really is a throwback to the more intense horror films of the 70's like `The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' and `The Hills Have Eyes'. It's got an intensity and seriousness that is almost inevitably lacking from later slasher movies, and the old rough and violent feeling. As such, it certainly isn't for everyone, as many people seem to only like gentle, feel-good horror or conventional gorefests. But, it you've got a taste for something darker and more intense, `Wolf Creek' is definitely worth a look.
Grade: A- (This is after watching it again on DVD, and determining that it was even better than I'd thought initially. I'd change the rating to a 5, if I could.)"
Terry Mesnard | Bellevue, NE | 12/27/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The thing about horror movie conventions is that you get stuck following them. You get so used to them that you either figure the movie out before it even gets going or you might be scared but you're really simply going through the motions. Then comes a movie that plays with conventions and, at times, decimates them. You're no longer in your comfort zone. You no longer know what's going to happen. Wolf Creek is kind of like that movie.
It begins slowly as a road trip film. A great deal of the beginning is spent on developing characters (shock! What a novel concept!). At times it might drag a bit, but really its all set up. A lot of negative reviewers have commented that its boring. I guess in today's society of instant gratification I shouldn't be surprised...but I think the slower start works well for this movie. There are a couple scenes setting up a feeling of unease in your stomach. But what the beginning does really well is set you at ease before destroying that ease with one of the cruelest villains seen in today's horror film culture.
What happens when the scares start is out of a nightmare. I'm not going to say anything else about the plot because in the way it plays with conventions, there are some nice little twists in the plot. It keeps you on your toes. In fact, if you are an avid horror film buff, you will probably enjoy this movie the most simply because of the way it continues to crush horror film cliches and conventions. I think that's what impressed me the most about this movie. As a horror film buff, I sat there and watched in glee as things that normally happen in a horror film were turned on its head. Also, like a fellow reviewer has mentioned, with a cast of 3 protagonists, there really is no "cannon fodder." And you never know who will survive and who won't. I really want to talk more about it but it will ruin some of the little twists that really make this film what it is.
The movie is very dark in tone. It reminded me of the feel of High Tension (another great horror film this year). The gore isn't as over the top as High Tension which helps ground the film in the possible territory. And Australia is the perfect location for this film. The scenes of complete isolation and utter desolation; the kind where you don't know which way is which. Its disorienting in a way that many horror films try to capture but never fully express. Some scenes toward the end are so bleak and disorienting you can't help but feel lost and wondering if you were stranded out there what WOULD you do?
This has been an "interesting" year for horror films. On one hand there have been a ton of PG-13 horror films that have catered to the safe and money-making teen crowd. These films offer mainly the "boo" scare with the loud music and close ups. The kind of movie people shriek at because they are surprised, then spend the next ten minutes laughing about it. And there have been a few movies that have been "throw backs" to the 1970/early 80s horror/gore flicks; the really in your face flicks that at one time defined what horror was.
One of them took all of the bad parts of those films (The Devil's Rejects) and left out all of the good. This film did the exact opposite. What films like The Devil's Rejects forget is that violence for violence's sake does not instill terror. However, when you care about the characters, like in the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre and in this film, the violence gets under your skin. It gets into your head and you find yourself holding your breath that everyone makes it out okay...but knowing full well its not that kind of story.
Wolf Creek: a must see."
Very very good.
Natacon | North Carolina, USA | 04/06/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I recently rented "Wolf Creek" and wow. I enjoyed it alot. I hadn't heard much about it beforehand due to it being a low budget horror flick, the kind of thing that I just don't care for. I figured it'd be a massive slashfest or something similar. Enough to please horror fans basically.
What I got was a horror movie that scared me senseless. I remember just watching the scenes of the killer and thinking "This man is insane and will do anything." It keeps you on the edge of your seat specifically through suspense. Not to mention the Australian Outback which seems to just seem so scary unto itself.
This is truly a good movie. If you're a diehard horror fan then you may not like it. However, if you're just wanting to check out a movie, this is perfect. Good thriller to keep you awake at night.
PS: No trips to the Outback for me anytime soon."
Phookin' Spooky Mate!!!
JBizzle | Under A Rock | 04/06/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love horror movies and anyone not totally disturbed by the end of this movie has something totally wrong with them. This movie grabs hold and doesn't let go, it's Aussie horror done right. I only wish Americans would take a look at how other directors around the world were doing their movies, & get away from all the half azzed lame remakes & trendy Asian horror flicks(how many little dead wet asian girl movies are you people gonna pay for?). Anyway, these guys have shown the world how to respark the "slasher film" genre, and how to do it without spending gobs & gobs of money. This is the kind of horror I want, not big budget, PG-13, teenie bopper fluff. You know horror movies are intended to scare the crap out of you, they're intended to horrify you, hence "HORROR". If you wanna see something safe & PG-13, you should keep out of the horror section, you don't see me forcing more violence in your cheeseball MTV movies do you. This is horror how it should be done, gritty, violent, scarey, GREAT MOVIE!!!"