Wolf Creek 2 (2013)

Starring: John Jarratt, Ryan Corr, Shannon Ashlyn, Philippe Klaus,

Directed by: Greg Mclean

Rating: 1 2 3

John Jarratt as serial killer Mick in Wolf Creek 2

In Australia, no-one can hear you scream.

Such was the premise of Wolf Creek, the innovative low budget Aussie horror that proved that it is still possible to make an original, compelling, grown up slasher movie in the 21st century.

I don't usually have much truck with horror sequels, as, let's face it, they're usually rubbish. But I made the exception here. Error of judgment? Compared to hitchhiking alone across vast tracts of outback desert, it's all relative.

But annoyingly, yes, the curse of bigger budget/fewer ideas has struck. While Wolf Creek 1 was grim as a prairie tale, tight as a plastic wrist restraint and chillingly plausible as, well, the true story it purported to be, 2 is far more sprawling, SFX-laden and difficult to swallow, a series of (admittedly splendidly horrible) set-pieces strung together somewhat randomly, lacking any real coherence and narrative drive. (Although no-nonsense cobbers must applaud the defiantly simple title: no 'Wolf Creek: The Return of Mick' here...)

Ryan Corr as Paul in Wolf Creek 2

However, our previously dour, humourless, redneck serial killer Mick Taylor (John Jarratt) has morphed into an ubiquitous wise-cracking bogey-man, drawling quips Freddy-style through stained, clenched teeth, punctuated by a trademark nasal sneer of a laugh. Any subtlety has gone right out the window: where previously Mick's multiple former prey were hinted at by piled up rucksacks and discarded passports, here their bloodied, disfigured, desiccated corpses are littered about like sweet wrappers in Hostel-esque underground torture chamber. And while, according to the twisted, judgmental logic of horror, the smug, patronising youngsters of the first movie kinda deserved what they got, here our victims are a lot less vilely obnoxious – and even more helpless in the face of our anti-hero's new-found superpower that allows him to be everywhere at once, defying the laws of time and geography.

If you like your violence cruel, visceral and bloody then Wolf Creek 2 still has much to offer, but if you're after a film as lean and mean and shocking as Wolf Creek 1, you may be disappointed. But then again, in Australia, no-one can hear you sigh...

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