Two pretty decent films and a first season that had more highs then lows, Wolf Creek returned late last year for another 6-episode run and unfortunately took a few steps back.
The films and show focus primarily on serial killer, Mick Taylor (John Jarratt) who has been murdering his way across the Australian Outback for many years. The first film was fairly generic but Jarratt’s Mick Taylor lit up the screen. You can read our review here. The second film smartly put him front and centre and while it was still a flawed experience, it was very entertaining. You can read our review here.
Season 1 took everything we’d seen and learned so far then turned things around as Taylor ends up being tracked & hunted by a young woman who survived the slaughter of her entire family. It was a decent effort and one that cemented Mick as a true villain of horror. You can read our review of Season 1 here.
There was never really any doubt that come the end of Season 1 that Mick was still going to be alive. He is the star, the shining light of a show that can get really bogged down with uninteresting characters, contrived plot-points and questionable coincidences. John Jarratt was born to play this role and he excels once again even if he doesn’t get as much screen time as you’d hope.
This time round he gets to torment a group of tourists who are on an outback adventure tour.
It starts so well as the group all board the bus and get to know each other. There are quite a few but the significant characters are the couple Rebecca (Tess Haubrich) and Danny (Charlie Clausen). The elderly German couple Oskar (Julian Pulvermacher) and Nina (Felicity Price). Best friends Kelly (Laura Wheelwright) and Michelle (Elsa Cocquerel) and psychologist Brian (Matt Day).
These are the ones that matter and the ones that get the most focus.
After the driver of the bus stops at a service station he runs into Mick and the pair clash. Offended by nothing, Mick ends up killing the driver and taking over the bus. Unknown to the tourists who believe him to be a replacement driver.
Mick drugs the water supply and when the group wake up they find themselves abandoned deep within the outback with no-one around. Driving out isn’t an option as the bus battery is missing and the food is spoiling. Then they discover the body of the bus driver.
The hunt is on and Mick Taylor knows this land way better then this lot.
Stretched…that’s the word that constantly comes to mind while watching. A basic outline of a story and not a lot else. There is so much filler at times that you’ll be desperately hoping for just anything to happen. While characters do get time to develop the focus is mis-aligned and an eventual reunion fails to spark because of that.
No complaints about the acting, everyone does good but special mention has to go to Matt Day who plays a ‘different’ kind of Wolf Creek character. Once again though, Jarratt kills it in his role and almost all his scenes are the best moments. An incredible attempt by Brian to analyse Mick is so entertaining and the perfect summation of the killer’s character.
It’s just the way it has to be.
Sadly, there are far too many issues throughout that will eat away at you as you watch. Far too many characters have golden opportunities to kill Mick and either fail or chose not to take it. It starts to make him feel invincible resulting in lost tension as you know Mick isn’t going to die. By time we reach the final episode there will be no convincing anyone that the surviving characters have any chance of beating him.
There is no emotional weight to most of the deaths. They come, the go and we move on to the next. It’s graphic as you might expect but nothing we haven’t seen before.
Perhaps the most frustrating thing about season 2 though is how it makes you feel like the Outback isn’t as big as it actually is. I say this because characters run into each other so often that it starts to seem a bit silly. Characters walk for miles in one direction and still end up running into Mick who is mostly just aimlessly driving around looking for them. It’s unrealistic for a series that is weighted heavily in realism.
Also at times Wolf Creek Season 2 is boring. A couple of the middle episodes hardly further the plot at all, instead introducing new characters for Mick to quickly kill and keep the body count high. It feels stretched out and while it never quite breaks, there are definitely signs of strain.
Do we need another season or film? Yes. We do. Simply to put an end to Mick Taylor. He is an incredibly despicable character and it’s impossible to not want to see him get his comeuppance. Make one last season or one last film that sees him really get the tables turned on him. Let’s see the fucker burn.
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Wolf Creek - Series 2