When you spend your time watching and reviewing as many films as I do, it takes something special to stand out, and if I’m honest, they have been few and far between over the last few years. But one film which really stood out, so much that I recommended it to every one of my (non horror loving) friends was Greg McLean’s 2005 Aussie slasher, Wolf Creek(if you haven’t seen it, go and watch in NOW). So you can imagine my excitement when new broke that McLean was working on turning his film into a 6 episode Mini Series!
Wolf Creek further explores the myth behind the films villain, the murderous outbacker Mick Taylor(John Jarratt). The fist episode starts with an American family, stopping of on their trip across the vast, lonely Australian out back to take in the scenery at a fresh water lake. When the youngest son of the family gets attacked by a crocodile while swimming, the deadly Mick comes to the rescue by killing the beast.
After the family invite him to stay for the with them, the dad makes the mistake of telling Mick he is a policeman back home, and the atmosphere suddenly takes a turn for the worst! I’m sure it comes as no surprise, that Mick proceeds to slaughter the family one by one, but he makes a bit of a mistake, as he doesn’t finish off the teenage(pain medication addicted) daughter, Eve(Lucy Fry).
When she awakes in the hospital, weak and weary and recovering from a gunshot wound to the back, she befriends a friendly cop that is tasked with investigating her family’s murders. When she learns that there have been murders all over the country, reached linked by an unregistered blue truck(Mick’s truck), she decides to try and get her revenge on Mick, and sets off on his trail.
The first episode does a good job of lining up the story’s main arc, as well as laying the seed for mini arc’s to run throughout the series and beyond. For example, seeds are planted that there may be a romantic link between our plucky heroine and the cop.
Each episode winds towards the end game, which is ultimately, Eve’s confrontation with Mick, but also has side plots which are started and ended during the individual episode. An some of these are quite good and handled well, while others just feel shoehorned in to make the pot more “series friendly”. An example of this is in episode 2, where Eve gets arrested and thrown in the local jail. This on its own isn’t too far fetched, but the fact there is an open window in her cell, just big enough for her to fit through raised a chuckle in my house. Thats about all i’m going to go into with regards to the plot, as I don't want to spoil things for you…
One of the strongest things about the series is the solid acting, with Jarratt in fantastic for as the sharp tongued bushwhacker from hell! Fry also deserves a lot of plaudits for her portrayal of the drug addicted Eve. She plays her with just enough nuance to make her an effective heroine!
Anyone who has seen the original movies, will know what to expect from Mclean’s direction. Like his career defining films, Wolf Creek(The Series) is beautifully shot, and he gives the vast, desolate outback an unsettling juxtaposition, as it appears both beautiful and terrifying at the same time. The tone of the series is very different to the film’s however, a McLean seem’s to have gone for more of a thriller feel than out and out horror. While some horror devotee’s may feel slighted by this, I think it is a necessary change so it will suit a mini series format better. Lucky for us lovers of gore, the bloodshed the films are famed for is still there!
Wolf Creek is one of those rare I.P’s that could run concurrently in both film and TV formats to years to come. Each series and film could focus on one of Mick’s murders and I for one will never become bored.
The DVD and Blu-ray box sets will be available from 10th October:
3 discs in the DVD set, 2 disc in the Blu-ray set
RRP for both sets will be £24.99
***You can buy the BluRay for £14.99 by clicking the link below***
WOLF CREEK - The Complete First TV Series is available on Digital HD from 6th October & DVD and Blu-ray on 10th October 2016