Aussie Horror Well Done: “Wolf Creek 2” (2014) Movie Review

Mick Taylor (John Jarrett) is back and he’s bigger and badder. The film starts out with young couple Katarina (Shannon Ashlyn) and Rutger (Philippe Klaus) who are traveling in the outback when they cross path with Taylor, unknowing of the fate that will soon find them. It isn’t long before Paul (Ryan Corr) is thrown into the mix and the film becomes a big game of cat and mouse. Will the three travelers become the newest victims of Taylor? Or will they finally be able to outsmart this mad man once and for all?

When the original film was released on Christmas of 2005, it was considered one of the most terrifying and disturbing films in years. Upon seeing it I was left with nothing but boredom and disappointment. However, this sequel was a massive surprise. Unlike the original film, the sequel picks up and never stops. It doesn’t waste an hour developing its characters, it just spends enough time with them before their encounter with Taylor. It definitely has the feel of films like Joy Ride and The Hitcher, because this time there are chase scenes galore (and who doesn’t love a good chase scene?). We are also given characters we actually care about (unlike the first). Especially the character of Paul who uses his intellect to try escape the mad man.

The film also features more kills and more brutality, and easily has the most brutal and cringe worthy beheading I’ve ever seen in horror. And the cherry on top of it all, is the excellent touch of dark humor provided by Taylor who could easily be compared to Freddy Krueger at this point with his twisted humor and sick mind. The acting in the sequel is on-par with the original (I will give the original that much credit that it did have some solid acting). Ryan Corr provides a great performance as our lead character Paul.

The determination and will to survive is shown throughout the film, as is the hints that he gradually becoming unhinged by the events unfolding. His best performance occurs in the scene in Taylor’s lair involving some mind games between the two. Shannon Ashlyn and Philippe Klaus do a decent job as the young and in love couple. They have good chemistry together and they’re believable. Of the two however, Ashlyn really provides the strongest performance as she provides genuine fear and shock. Finally, we have John Jarrett reprising his role as Mick Taylor. And he nails it. We get a sense of his character in the first film, this time around we really get to know his character. Jarrett does an excellent job of showing of the twisted side of Taylor, and excellently delivers the dark humor with perfect timing. We want to hate him for the horrible person he is, but you can’t help but enjoy him at the same time.

Wolf Creek 2 is a massive improvement over the first film that provides great brutality, thrills, and laughs. Once the film picks up, it hooks you and never lets go.

–Cody Landman