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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my horror favourites
This is one of my favourite horror movies of all time.
And the late Roger Ebert gave it 0%. Not because it was a bad movie, he said, but due to its immorality and irresponsibility.
Mr Ebert, God bless him, has done many accurate and well-written reviews and some I did not agree with at all. This was one of the two reasons I can cite why I thought he could be a...
Published 19 months ago by Mrs. V. F. R. Niekerk

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43 of 49 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slick and suitably frightening, but is ultimately in bad taste...
I was living in Sydney at the time of the famed backpacker killings. As the bodies were discovered in the Belangalo Forest south of Sydney, and the biggest murder investigation in Australia's history got under way, the news reports of the way the victims were tortured and murdered were absolutely shocking and profoundly disturbing. The reported perpetrator Ivan Milat was...
Published on 16 April 2006


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my horror favourites, 25 April 2013
By 
Mrs. V. F. R. Niekerk "horrorbuff" (South Africa) - See all my reviews
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This is one of my favourite horror movies of all time.
And the late Roger Ebert gave it 0%. Not because it was a bad movie, he said, but due to its immorality and irresponsibility.
Mr Ebert, God bless him, has done many accurate and well-written reviews and some I did not agree with at all. This was one of the two reasons I can cite why I thought he could be a total ass sometimes.
The first was his infamous videogame qoute which states that no videogame can ever be art. As any gamer knows, there are already numerous masterpieces which can be called art. (Heavy Rain, Mass Effect etc.)
His Woif Creek review is the second.
Wolf Creek is a hard-hitting, no compromise, no punches-pulled gutpuncher of a movie without wallowing in gore and excess as some other movies do. There is actually very little gore here, aside from some old decaying corpses in the killer's killing room.
The brutality of this movie (which I do not recommend to sensitive souls) is due primarily to the acting which is uniformly brilliant.
I don't know if the cast is well-known in Australia, but they're definitely not well-known elsewhere although John Jarrett (the killer) is becoming more and more well-known. He even had a cameo role in Tarantino's Django Unchained.
They are first class, though. They sell the terror and panic of the characters and it makes the whole thing nauseatingly realistic.
It is hard to watch the screen when Jarrett is torturing one of the leading ladies in his killing room. Not physically torturing, mentally. Not a drop of blood is spilt. Because of the acting.
The movie is also very downbeat and depressing, well the second half is.The first half shows the four backpacking youngsters enjoying their holiday, with real love even creeping in between two characters in a very sweet scene, which makes the second half even more horrible.
But this is a horror movie and bad stuff gotta happen. As Stephen King once remarked, he wants to see a movie where it felt like you were watching a movie directed by a genuine madman who will do anything to get you. This is that movie.
Eber's problem was basically due to the fact that the movie was purportedly based on real events - i.e. the Ivan Milat killings.
Go do some research on the Milat killings in Australia and you will notice that the movie and the real story has very little in common except for the fact that backpackers were killed. The killer in real-life was not a bushdweller like ol' Mick here, but stayed in a big city neighbourhood and had accomplices. Even the killings are not the same. Maybe the movie was influenced by the real-life tragedies but so what? So was Psycho (Ed Gein), Texas Chainsaw (Ed Gein) and many other classics and they did not get 0%, did they, mr Ebert?
A great movie for hardened horror buffs who's sick of watered-down, PG-13 Hollywood 'horror' and wants an injection of the real stuff. This'll do ya!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly disturbing tale told with grim authenticity, 5 Aug 2010
This review is from: Wolf Creek [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Greg McLean lulls us into a false sense of security with an opening that borders on the tedious. We're introduced to the lead trio of friends at a langorous pace, McLean letting the ordinariness of pace and majesty of the countryside heighten our awareness that surely something must happen soon. And so when a very friendly and nice stranger turns up to help fix their car, offering them a lift, we're on high alert. However, the wait for anything to go wrong is very cleverly manipulated and stretched out for even more suspense, before our characters suddenly realise they're in horrifyingly deep trouble, and they might not make it out alive.
In rooting it all so firmly in normality, and some very naturalistic, non-'actory' performances from all of his cast, McLean makes this all feel horrifyingly close-up and possible, and the twisted normality of the villain and casual relaxed manner with which he inflicts horrifying events on the main characters makes it even harder to watch. Knowing that this was at least loosely based on a true story made it tough viewing for us, and a disturbing experience that will stick in the brain. A frightening protrait of appalling cruelty wrapped up in charm and normality.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shock horror!, 12 July 2009
By 
kehs (Hertfordshire, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Wolf Creek [DVD] (DVD)
Wow! Believe the hype. This film will have you cowering behind a cushion or under a blanket. The plot builds up at a slow pace and cleverly lulls the viewer into a false sense of calm. Then the action comes and shock after shock follows. My heart was pounding all the way through this film and I found myself screaming for the characters to survive. At points I didn't want to watch anymore but at the same time couldn't tear my eyes away. This is a fabulous film but not for the faint-hearted.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Modern Day Texas Chainsaw Massacre, 8 Aug 2006
By 
R. Mullaney (Leeds, UK) - See all my reviews
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The premise is simple. Three backpackers find themselves at the mercy of a violent maniac when their car breaks down in the desolate Australian outback. Similar scenarios have terrified audiences of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Hills Have Eyes and Deliverance so why overcomplicate things?

Wolf Creek stands out from other more average slasher films because of it's gritty realism, stunning scenery and gruesome violence. The violence is brutal and shocking but Wolf Creek doesn't rely on gore for scares. The film is also incredibly tense, especially as the friendly stranger quickly turns into an unpredictable psychopath. The campfire scene and the scene where the girl escapes and flags down a passing car had me on the edge of my seat. Most people would probably cite the excellent Hostel as the best horror film of 2005 but I think Wolf Creek is superior due to the good central performances and masterful filming.
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43 of 49 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slick and suitably frightening, but is ultimately in bad taste..., 16 April 2006
I was living in Sydney at the time of the famed backpacker killings. As the bodies were discovered in the Belangalo Forest south of Sydney, and the biggest murder investigation in Australia's history got under way, the news reports of the way the victims were tortured and murdered were absolutely shocking and profoundly disturbing. The reported perpetrator Ivan Milat was arrested, and ultimately convicted, and he is now serving a life sentence.

Now almost fourteen years later we have a movie that purports to be loosely based on those murders, and whether it should have been made at all is up to the reviewer to decide. Personally I think it's in bad taste, and is disrespectful, not only to the seven victims, but also to the victims' families. Aussie writer/director Greg McLean skewers the original real-life story, setting Woolf Creek in the wilds of the Western Australian desert where three unsuspecting backpackers come across a staggeringly evil Australian boogieman.

Liz (Cassandra Magrath), Kristy (Kestie Morassi) and Ben (Nathan Phillips) leave the tranquil coast of Broome Western Australia a beat-up jalopy after a pointless tequila and Smirnoff Ice binge and head inland, their goal being the Wolf Creek Crater, a giant, circular scar in the earth's crust, the resting place for an ancient meteorite. Their car conks out and their watches stop working when at the same moment help arrives in the form of friendly backwoods giant Mick Taylor (John Jarratt).

It's dark and cold and despite some ominous signs, they allow him to tow the car back to his place, an abandoned mining camp, where he starts to work on the repairs. But is Mick all that he seems? As they sit around the campfire, drinking some of his special rainwater, he jokes about murdering tourists and gutting livestock. Next thing we know, Liz wakes up bound and gagged in a room that makes a dungeon look appealing, and is separated from her friends.

The rest of the film is a sadistic cat and mouse game in which Mick seeks and destroys his prey in the most vicious and gory fashion, with McLean seriously stretching the limitations of what is acceptable cinematic entertainment. Yes, the film is suspenseful and it's stylishly done, but it's also somewhat nasty and mean-spirited. There are some gorgeous shots of Australia's northern deserts with McLean manipulating nature so that it starts out as a positive force and then turning ominous with rain cloud formations. Francois Tetaz's creepy score also heightens the atmosphere.

Judgments aside, the real reason to see Woolf Creek is John Jarrett's over-the-top performance as the evil Mick. The actor has obviously aged a bit since the height of his fame in the mid-1970's, but he's lost nothing of his earthy sex appeal. With his icy stare, scratchy beard and cackling laugh, this is a monster without an ounce of human compassion that has made it his life's work to murder unsuspecting tourists.

Whatever quasi-social commentary McLean throws in about the nature of pure evil and the need to track down these people, who can get away with almost anything in the isolation of Australia's outback, nothing can escape the fact that Woolf Creek is a chilling and disturbing film that tries to recount one of the darker periods in Australian criminal history. Mike Leonard April 06.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Top quality horror, 9 Nov 2008
By 
S J Buck (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Wolf Creek [DVD] (DVD)
Although you could argue that this falls into the recent spate of torture-porn films, in fact its vastly superior to all of these. Yes it follows the old pattern of young good-looking people getting into trouble, but it does it with a verve and style that is missing form say Hostel and Capture.

The main reason it works is because some time is spent developing the characters in the first half of the film. So when things start to go bad for the innocent trio you do have some sympathy with the nightmare that they find themselves in.

Another important point is that this is not a Hollywood movie and as a result it does not do what Hollywood movies do. In the last 1/3 of the film there quite a few unpleasant surprises which you wouldn't get in a Hollywood film.

It is supposed to be based on a true story, although there may have been some artistic licence. Nevertheless even if its only 50% true the events portrayed are truly nightmarish. If you are a fan of horror films you'll like this a lot, otherwise I'd advise caution!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars O.K. but… Any ‘It happened like this’ link too fragile, 28 Feb 2006
I picked Wolf Creek based on the reviews. For me the film certainly didn't match the hype. My disappointment surrounded the plot logistics and the 'It really happened' references. Which, if you bother to think while watching, requires the viewer to switch off any plot analysis functions. Likely to rattle only those embarking on a road trip across an empty space. Hire it, enjoy it, but don't study it.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 25 Oct 2006
By 
S. Suthers (Portsmouth) - See all my reviews
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This is the best film I have watched in ages. Based on a true story all I can say is I'd hate to be one of the victims. This film had me on the edge of my seat, there was none of this silly man-turn-creature thing going on it was pure true life horror, something that could happen to me, you or anyone - at any time! Watch this film you won't be disappointed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really Liked It, 5 Aug 2006
By 
I actually really liked this film. I have to admit the first half hour or so is very slow and some people might get bored and turn off then. But this first bit really sets the personalities of the characters and makes the ordeal to come far more terrifying!

The scenic views are incredible, and the acting is fairly realistic.

Very good film to watch with friends.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the title is the clue, 10 Mar 2006
By 
P. Davie - See all my reviews
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I am an infrequent watcher of disturbing films. i used to watch gore flicks for the "wince factor" unitl I watched "Henry" - then i started to wacth far more "horror" films that made you think. And not just think as in "Ooooh - creepy" but think as in "Jeeez - never really thought of it like that before".
This is one of those. What has been, in other reviews, described as boring, is the build up. It is very reminiscent of TCM but ultimately, it serves to illustrate the emptiness and lonliness of the Australian landscape - and that is such a key to the film.
Equally, the naivety of the travelling companions, who are easy in each other's company (despite the brits vs the aussies stereotype), serves to provide the innocent backdrop to the film's grisly premise. Travelling is meant to be fun, after all, and while all who do it are aware of the inherent dangers, few must actually contemplate the possibility that they might be on the receiving end of a serial-killer's predilections.
But what my review is chiefly concerned with, is that "based on true events" tag that everyone is so hung up on. For one of the first times since "Henry", this is a film which truly MAKES USE of that phrase. Too many people think that this means that a film has to ape true life events. This is not necessarily the case. This film makes a comment about the indecision of the authorities, regarding the witness testimonies in the infamous cases on which it was based. And what it does is point out that anyone who is a victim of such an horrendous crime is bound to be disoriented, confused and sketchy on detail.
Wolf Creek - the site of the largest crater on The Earth - was not discovered until 1947 (so the film says) - so how would you expect a survivor to remember where the site of these atrocities was? How would you expect a naive traveller to recall precise detail of a land so vast and unexplored? It is this disorientation element that the film offers as a theme to be discussed - the violence and gore were necessary to show the trauma of the events that took place. They are a secondary consideration. What is truly scary about this film is the fact that soo many people go missing in australia - because they are travelling a land that few have set foot in. For highlighting that, it is:
a) better than Van Sant's "Gerry"
b) bordering on genius
c) not a film that gore-hound horror fans will be happy with
(PS - does anyone else round here worry about the people who were looking for gore in a film so realistic??)
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