Wolf Creek (2005) – Retro Review

Mick Taylor from Wolf Creek has become a horror legend, topping lists as one of the most ruthless villains to date. With his humorously dark commentary a la Freddy Krueger and his total nonchalantness when it comes to slaughtering folks like Michael Myers, Taylor truly is a one-of-a-kind, comical yet absolutely evil character. Wolf Creek is a 2005 Australian film that flew under the radar for its first few years, but don’t let its unknown factor turn you off from watching it. This is one of those movies that’ll genuinely creep you out.

Set in the vast Australian desert, Wolf Creek focuses on a small group of friends traveling through the outback.  The trio’s car breaks down and they are aided by a seemingly joyful local named Mick Taylor.  However, Taylor’s helpfulness was easily mistaken for something far more alarming.

Wolf Creek is raw, bone chilling and brutal. Mick Taylor is a merciless murderer, whose kills can literally make you cringe. Despite the gruesomeness, Taylor’s character grows on you, and secretly, you’re left rooting for him instead of his innocent victims. The chase scenes are suspenseful, heart-pounding moments that’ll keep you on the edge-of-your seat. Perhaps what makes the film so effective and so frightening is the added realism that Wolf Creek portrays. The crude, unseasoned and mysterious vibe leaves you with a sense of feeling unsafe. With how vast and unexplored the Australian outback is, it really does give you goosebumps that someone like Taylor could truly be out there, just hidden in plain sight… watching and waiting for you.

John Jarratt is a damn good actor. He played his role of Mick Taylor to a T and beyond. I don’t think anyone else could bring what Jarratt bought to the table in terms of portraying such a loved yet hated character. The other actors did a stellar job as well, but Jarratt is so much more outstanding simply because his funny yet evil character is easily the most memorable. Taylor even stayed in character between takes, not wanting to lose the momentum he had going. Director Greg McLean also penned the story himself and deserves major kudos for creating such an intriguing and creepy film. McLean also shot the film on a very small budget roughly around $1 million US dollars. The popularity of Wolf Creek spun a well-deserved sequel and even a TV mini-series.  

Wolf Creek claims to be based off of real events like many films do, but what makes this one different from all the others is the fact that there are theories of an actual serial killer out there with striking similarities to Mick Taylor. Also, while filming one night at the Wolfe Creek Crater, a mysterious man resembling Taylor showed up, driving a truck! The crew was so freaked out by the occurrence that they drove for around an hour before finally settling in for the night.

Personally, the part that always gave me goosebumps is the ending of Wolf Creek. The simplicity of Taylor walking off into the distance and vanishing while text appears about no trace of him ever being found is quite unsettling. Even though one character escaped, you’re still left without a sense of security. One of the most brutal kills I’ve ever seen is the death of Liz, whom Taylor tortures and paralyzes before labeling her a “head on a stick.” Just thinking about it now gives me the heebie-jeebies.

In any event, Wolf Creek is a slasher film unlike any other that is perfect for a night when you truly are looking for a scare. Be sure to give the coveted film a watch in honor of its eleven year anniversary. Also, I do highly recommend the sequel and mini-series that delves into Taylor’s background and provides even more savage kills.



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