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Overall Rating

Awesome: 21.43%
Worth A Look34.29%
Average: 10.71%
Pretty Bad: 11.43%
Total Crap: 22.14%

7 reviews, 98 user ratings

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Wolf Creek
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by brianorndorf

"Lacking inspiration and execution"
1 stars

An Aussie expedition into isolation horror, “Wolf Creek” takes a full hour to get going, never quite getting up to speed after the lengthy opening act. Amateurishly directed and acted, this “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” homage/rip-off isn’t worth the time invested.

On a road trip to visit the Wolf Creek meteor site in Western Australia, Ben (Nathan Phillips), Kristy (Kestie Morassi), and Liz (Cassandra Magrath) embark on a long odyssey into the unknown wilds of the land. Arriving at the site, their car breaks down, and leaves them stranded quite literally in the middle of nowhere. An Aussie stranger named John (Mick Taylor) comes across the threesome by chance, and offers his help by towing them to his home, located even further into isolation. Once there, the trio learns the true nature of John’s hospitality, commencing a long night of terror and bloodshed.

“Wolf Creek” uses the dramatic shield of “based on true events” to cover the fact that the film is just a routine slasher knockoff, and a fairly dreadful one at that. Any faithfulness to real life is abandoned right away, with writer/director Craig McLean looking to fashion his own mild version of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” but this time taking it to the Australian outback.

“Wolf Creek” is one of those tired micro-budgeted horror films that enjoys stealing from its genre forefathers under the guise of “homage” so the thievery isn’t as obvious. McLean is making his feature-length debut with “Creek,” and he’s far too reliant on atmosphere to get by. Yes, there are incredible Australian vistas to soak up, but McLean gives the audience enough shots of outback sunsets and peaceful desolation to let the film (at times) pass for a production from the local tourist board. After sitting through the rest of this uninspired junk, I wish the film had stayed with the kangaroos and arid landscapes.

There are many things both slapdash and screwy with “Creek,” but McLean’s biggest sin is the 60-minute set-up before the horror kicks in. Oh yes, it takes a full hour before anything of note occurs. I’m sure McLean would explain this time away as an occasion to get to know the characters, but these are young, inexperienced actors, and to see them fluster though limp improv in an effort to fill up the running time is more brutal than any act John ends up committing. The opening two sections of “Creek” are so achingly dull and borderline pointless that when it comes time for McLean to rev up his engine and start the mayhem, interest in any of this has evaporated.

The final 30 minutes of “Creek” are just as familiar and unimaginative, taking heavy cues from “Chainsaw” in mounting seclusion terror. Because the climax contains heavy amounts of disturbing imagery, McLean elects to use obvious handheld camera movement to ratchet up the perceived chaos of the situation. All it does is make the viewer dizzy. There is plenty of gore and terror for the finale (brutal stuff for the casual viewer), but it can’t break the coma the film has already slipped into.

I guess the true insult of “Wolf Creek” is the ending: confirming that the whole movie doesn’t make a lick of sense, and was only an exercise for a novice filmmaker to try and fill 90 minutes with almost nothing of substance. He succeeded.

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originally posted: 12/22/05 02:18:27
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For more in the Australian series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Sundance Film Festival. For more in the 2005 Sundance Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

6/25/10 The Stick that Slaps Amen to that, SpaceGoat... 1 stars
11/01/09 Ron Joanne Lees (victim of the ordeal) has a book out, "NO TURNING BACK". Based on true events 3 stars
9/02/09 SpaceGoat There is something terribly wrong with guys who make films like this. 1 stars
10/28/08 Sugarfoot This movie has nothing on the grittier 70s gore epics and the narrative is really boring. 1 stars
8/10/08 ben dover awesome and truly disturbing 5 stars
6/30/08 action movie fan good scary last house on the left style shocker-realistic and believable 4 stars
3/01/08 Ivana Mann Brutal...brutally boring.Virtually no plot,just flacid,rehashed torture-porn. Total poo! 1 stars
1/11/08 misty boring 1 stars
1/03/08 Matt Not very close to the real story, but still quite good. Gross and scary! 4 stars
8/07/07 ravenmad Crap, awful, disgusting and not scary. Made to dehumanize. Save some green. 1 stars
6/27/07 philip easton a horror film that relies on performances rather than gore 4 stars
5/02/07 Tracey Chambers people who make movies like this must think the audience is stupid 1 stars
4/09/07 Chris Redmond Brutally simple; unpretentious and, most importantly, deeply disturbing. 4 stars
3/07/07 Larry the hacker Mclean is a new master! Awesome flick! 5 stars
11/06/06 kory burtch beginning boring ending good and filled with suspence 4 stars
10/22/06 Dillon Isn't really worth your time and doesn't have pay-off big enough to compensate. 2 stars
9/17/06 Rhiann Wolf creek is based on true events..this makes it scary. And it has done an awesome job! 4 stars
9/03/06 Colleen Jenson As far as horror movies go, that fact that it is based on a true story makes it scary. 4 stars
8/24/06 Christine Dolce This movie was awesome!! I loved it. well done 5 stars
8/08/06 samuel not scary horror but ugly & sick - violence porn 1 stars
8/05/06 Agent Sands Scary moments, but for a true story it has one terrible script. 3 stars
8/04/06 pete.chesworth does not pull any punches very brutal 4 stars
7/30/06 daveyt ok, seemed to run out of time for a good ending...? 3 stars
7/24/06 Samuel Very much horror!! Very real! Very horrifying!!! 5 stars
7/16/06 JeromeBosch Vile and disgusting garbage, Horror, I think not! 1 stars
6/24/06 ali it was a asome show it was the best i have ever seen 5 stars
6/13/06 Tasia I thought this movie was's boring up until the end 3 stars
6/05/06 malcolm such potential but just f-ing boring 2 stars
6/05/06 katie Truly scary, a must see for any horror fan. 5 stars
6/04/06 William Goss Just falls short of a solid road trip movie, then just short of truly bleak horror. 2 stars
5/12/06 Indrid Cold There's a memorable moment when the audience's trust is brutally violated. Otherwise, meh. 3 stars
4/14/06 gfh like Tiff said, unwitnessed, but okay suspense in parts 2 stars
4/13/06 sherrysfunstuff AMAZING shots! pretty hohum devils rejects..true story????? 2 stars
4/06/06 c amazing, realistic and overall the best film of 2005 5 stars
4/06/06 anthonyuk a very disturbing and nasty last 30 mins! not for the fainthearted. 4 stars
2/28/06 Tiffany Faye Hawthorne "Based on true story" but is unwitnessed speculation; a fraud essentially. 2 stars
2/14/06 Danny Utter crap, all the hipe about being a great horror movie, it wasn't scary at all. RUBBISH 1 stars
2/10/06 Alice One of the better horrors in this style 4 stars
1/27/06 Reklc Not bad, could be more realistic though. 4 stars
1/11/06 Mansi Dido Okay, although I have seen better. 3 stars
1/03/06 Zaw WTF Rednecks gone world wide! even in OZ they got rednecks like Texas Chain Saw! 4 stars
1/02/06 Roy Smith Read brianorndorf review. More boring than ANYTHING in 2005! Total garbage! 1 stars
1/01/06 y2mckay The Crocodile Dundee Breakdown Massacre 3 stars
12/31/05 Evil Wolfie So friggin boring, and i mean the parts with the killing, too. 2 stars
12/30/05 Agent Sands I mean, it gets tense. 4 stars
12/29/05 elvyn waist of time,very bad movie,no facts, pure crap, want my money back, worst movie this yr!! 1 stars
12/29/05 misty want my money was total crap.worst movie i have ever seen 1 stars
12/28/05 Matt Critics should research the Milat murders before reviewing. 4 stars
12/28/05 Corey M I want my $8.50 back! 1 stars
12/27/05 Nick Jones I left the theater wanting a refund and an explainion of why the movie was made 1 stars
12/27/05 Lana ITS DISGUSTING/HORRIBLE 1 stars
12/27/05 phil total crap,waste of time and money 1 stars
12/26/05 bill i hate this fucking move you could not play me to see it fro the 2 time 1 stars
12/26/05 Bo Bo Almost walked after 5 minutes 2 stars
12/26/05 lee Pure evil 5 stars
12/25/05 Dom Exploitive trash 1 stars
12/24/05 Croweater888 Try researching Peter Falconia and the backpacker murders you moron American reviewers! 4 stars
12/23/05 Jason Familiar horror elements in (for some of us) a familiar landscape, still scared me sh**less 5 stars
12/22/05 Manntis "Australia’s most baron landscapes"?? Learn to spell, reporter boy. 4 stars
12/20/05 Bleak This is the worst review i've read. Great Flick 4 stars
12/02/05 nikita nice camera shots, the murders were shocking though! 4 stars
12/01/05 Ron If payigng $10 to see women slowly tortured to death makes you happy, see a shrink instead. 1 stars
11/30/05 danni awsome 5 stars
11/30/05 glenn well developed characters, pace, suspense & shock... pure magic! 5 stars
11/29/05 alphred scary as hell 5 stars
11/28/05 Nathan Brilliant 5 stars
11/23/05 holly brookes i loved every minute of it. 5 stars
11/15/05 carl awesome 5 stars
11/10/05 Leonora realy well acted, terrifying 5 stars
11/08/05 Peter Blackman The emporers new clothes! Wake up people, this is boring, predictable, cliched rubbish! 1 stars
11/05/05 Bill James A boring, disjointed mimic of the Texas Chain Saw Massacre outback style. 1 stars
11/04/05 Truganini Heinous, malevolent, traumatic - and absolutely incredib;e 5 stars
11/04/05 aaron mcloughlin i don't feel that the writer is adept with the genre but is cashing in on the hype 1 stars
11/04/05 Joanna Chilled me- I recently went up to the Pilbura. The open desolate roads are creepy as it is 4 stars
11/03/05 sophie this film was great, and weird, one to watch again. 5 stars
11/02/05 craig possibly believable, but isnt 4 stars
10/31/05 Josh Mason Brutal and Amazing 5 stars
10/30/05 smiti This movie is more true then the reviewer above liked to believe. Great movie. 5 stars
10/29/05 peter it is all true plausable, not as a movie but as what does happen in the outback 5 stars
10/29/05 john bale Good example of genre, Jarratt relishes heavy attack of the crazies. Disturbingly graphic 4 stars
10/28/05 Dan Characters do stupid things but its quite scary 4 stars
10/27/05 Gizz Disturbing. Has turned me off ever travelling around Australia. 4 stars
10/25/05 chris fox (the god) fair 3 stars
10/22/05 Starlet Silver Briliant filt 5 stars
10/02/05 Gav 12-15 year old horror movie. Seen it all before could actually guess everything. 2 stars
9/23/05 Seth Horrible junk 1 stars
9/21/05 Ed Shocking, no eye witnesess, and beging could have been squeezed into 10 mins!pitiful effort 2 stars
9/20/05 Jen The fact that it's based on real events and the horrific violence make an excellent mix! 5 stars
9/18/05 stephen green its put me off west australia 5 stars
9/18/05 Sarah Hewitt Gripping to the deadly end! 5 stars
9/17/05 steve Grim, dark, gory tale, hope it didn't happen this way 5 stars
9/17/05 Sarah Although the film took a long time to tae off once it did it just left you terrified! 4 stars
7/24/05 Richard Watts Clever, but ultimately unsatisfying 3 stars
7/03/05 Jaye Fantastically horror! McGrath & Jarratt are back for Aussies! 5 stars
4/15/05 raquel Awesome!! Loved it!! Terrifying, what would you do in this situation?? 5 stars
3/24/05 Mark Legron "Wolf Creek", along with "Murder-Set-Pieces" are the BEST horror films in the last 20 years 5 stars
2/05/05 john j the worst film i saw at sundance 1 stars
2/01/05 captainporks A landmark in Australian cinematic development. This is genuinely terrifying horror flick. 5 stars
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  25-Dec-2005 (R)
  DVD: 11-Apr-2006



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