Wolf Creek full movie review - Plagued with inconsistencies, though it's undeniably great to see Mick Taylor again.
Mick Taylor is a hidden gem in the serial killer horror genre. An Australian marksman who prowls the outback looking for unsuspecting tourists to unleash his brand of sadistic torture and psychological mind games upon.
This monster of a human is played to perfection by John Jarratt, and from his dirty hat to his terrifyingly sardonic laugh, you don't disbelieve for a moment that this guy is bad news. This TV mini-series had a lot of potential to become a yearly vehicle showcasing Mick Taylor's crusades against a wide variety of victims. The first season delivers a modicum of brilliance you'd expect from another Wolf Creek installment, followed by inconsistencies and unnecessary plot points that drag down what we really want to see in Wolf Creek - Mick Taylor in his native glory.
The premiere's pre-credit sequence sets up the season in a superb fashion. It mirrors some of the greatest moments from the Wolf Creek films; Mick Taylor sharing an innocent chat with his unknowing victims, cracking jokes, laughing inappropriately, and sharing hunting stories to earn their trust before he strikes. Unfortunately, nothing else in the season lives up to the first twenty or so minutes. The final showdown in particular is an enormous disappointment, feeling highly derivative of the movies and severely lacking in tension. This is mainly because the final episode delves into Mick's backstory, a huge no-no for horror villains. In fact, the flashbacks to Mick's childhood reminded me a lot of Rob Zombie's Halloween, which is a terrible, terrible thing. We don't need to know Mick Taylor grew up in a broken home (i.e. why he's doing what he's doing) for him to be scary. He's already bloody terrifying. The less we know about him, the more psychotic he seems, and the finale sucked all the intrigue away by force-feeding us his backstory through broken flashbacks and breaking the tension building in the main narrative in the process.
Aside from Jarratt's arresting performance, the acting is nothing to write home about. The protagonist is bland; she runs into forgettable characters in her journey to search for the man who killed her family. The officer investigating the case could have been handled much better, and he's given subplots that do absolutely nothing to advance the plot (e.g. his family life). As it is, the only reason to watch Wolf Creek is to see Mick Taylor, and aside from the beginning and end, you don't see very much of him. It makes me yearn for Wolf Creek 2's approach of having the entire story revolve around him, since that's far more interesting than him sitting on the sidelines for the majority of the story while we follow a boring heroine run around the continent searching for him.
Hopefully the second season, or third movie, gives Jarratt the screen time he rightfully deserves. I'd support a Luther-esque approach in a second series; maybe have Mick terrorize a certain set of victims for a couple episodes, then move on to another group for the next two, then another, etc. Following one character for over five hours is simply not engaging enough, especially when one of horror's greatest and most charismatic antagonists is involved. If you're a fan of the Wolf Creek movies, I'd recommend watching the first episode and stopping there. It's not a bad series by any means, it just hasn't found its proper footing yet. Hopefully it's given the chance to; or maybe Mick Taylor is just better suited for the big screen.