Tuesday, 28 November 2006

Wolf Creek

We bought this on DVD a few days ago. You know, one of those spur-of-the-moment purchases when you weren't supposed to be spending any money. What can I say, we're weak.


As far as horror films go, Wolf Creek is pretty well up there. It was actually kind of refreshing to see the Aussie outback used for something like this rather than your average romantic adventure. The story is compelling and, although it's a little slow to get going, it draws you in and makes you want to stay. The sense of inevitabillity is huge. Right from the start, there are little hints that soemthing is not quite right; that everything will not go according to plan.

John Jarratt is simply amazing as Mick Taylor, the truly evil serial killer. Jarratt has been in stacks of Australian TV dramas, but I'm afraid I really only remember him from presenting on Better Homes and Gardens, so for me seeing his stunning performance was spectacular. Truly, I can't say enough about how well Jarratt created Mick Taylor. Much amazement. The making-of doco shows Jarratt talking about getting into character and finding the truth of it. He says he had to totally let go of himself, because "it's not him. John Jarratt just can't do this".
Writer/director Greg Maclean talks about Jarrat, on set, remaining in character a lot of the time, and speaking to him and other crew as Mick Taylor. It seems Taylor was a very difficult skin to climb in and out of, so perhaps Jarratt wanted to minimise moving in and out of the evil persona.
So yes, I was mightily impressed and a little inspired by Jarratt's performance.

The other cast were great too, though. The roles consisted of an awful lot of pain, torture, and terror, and Cassandra Magrath, Kestie Morassi and Nathan Phillips coped with it really well. I was a little bored by the "ooh aren't we having fun" over-acting at the beginning, but I don't know, maybe they were exaggerating on purpose in order to contrast with the darkness later on. All three of them performed beautifully once the horror began, through what must have been a fairly harrowing shoot.

And again, my favourite film character - the Australian outback - plays a central role. And does it well, if a little wet in this one. Apparently when their shoot days were overtaken by rain, they decided to make the most of it and tweaked the script a little to allow for the rotten weather. And, boy, it sure did work.

I guess the outback is McLean's favourite film character too - I see his next film, Rogue is shaping up to be another horror in the outback. I'll be looking forward to it.


Nic and Beren said...

I'll have to hire this out and watch out, have been meaning too. A few people I know have seen it and been petrified. I just can't imagine John Jarrett in that type of role either.

Anonymous said...

ooooooooo we've got this from the shop at the moment. I'm too scared to watch it. I might do now. Narelle.