Article first published as Blu-ray Review: ‘Wolf Creek 2’ on Blogcritics.
Just when you thought it was safe to head back to the outback, Mick Taylor (John Jarratt) is back in Wolf Creek 2. After an eight year hiatus, the Australian serial killer is at it again, with even more tricks up his sleeve. While the first Wolf Creek wound
up being a genre favorite, no one was exactly clamoring for a follow
up, but thankfully, co-writer/director Greg McLean has returned to dive
even further into Mick’s trail of bodies and a host of new characters to
throw on the barbie, with all the expected beheadings and
dismemberment, available in a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack from RLJ/Image
Entertainment on June 24.
a nasty reintroduction to Mick involving the dispatch of two police
officers (Shane Connor and Ben Gerrard), the story follows a couple of
German hitchhikers — Rutger (Philipe Kraus) and Katarina (Shannon
Ashlyn) — headed for Wolf Creek Crater. After they make camp for the
night, sure enough, Mick shows up offering them a ride to a nearby
camping spot. After they refuse, Mick does what he does best killing
Rutger and playing hide and seek through the brush with Katarina. Then,
along comes British surfer Paul (Ryan Corr), who nearly runs over poor
Katarina in the middle of the road, and offers her help. Now, Mick is
hot on their trail leaving a wake of bodies, and kangaroos, littered
across the Australian outback.
Wolf Creek 2 stalks onto Blu-ray on a 50GB disc framed in a
2.35:1 aspect ratio and looks nothing short of spectacular. Blacks never
cause any unintentional crush, even if McLean casts plenty of shadows
into scenes. Banding never creeps into the outback skylines which are
all perfectly resolved with absolutely no ringing or halos around
characters. Detail is impeccable from Katarina’s peach fuzz to every
drop of sweat on a character’s foreheads and every piece of foliage.
Noise and aliasing never make an appearance. The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
track is even better. Wind whips from one speaker to the next, making
it feel as if you’re standing alongside characters. Silence plays an
important part in a few scenes making every snapping twig add to the
suspense. Bass is always deep and dialogue is always loud and clear,
never drowned out by music or sound effects.
for special features, there may only be two, but they’re pretty
extensive. First up is a play all-only collection of “Butcher’s Cut:
Deleted Scenes” (23:56) consisting of nine extended scenes: “Backpacker
Hostel,” “German’s Campsite,” “Sacred Canyon Waterhole,” “Colonial
Cemetery,” “Butcher Rutger,” “Meeting Paul Hammersmith,” “Rabbit Truck
Chase,” “Paul Finds Jack and Lil,” and “Paul at Dinner.” Next up is a
meaty behind the scenes affair: “Creating a Monster: The Making of Wolf Creek 2”
which runs a whopping 52 minutes. Included are interviews with McLean,
co-writer Aaron Sterns, the cast and crew, and shows how much practical
work went into creating Mick’s grisly kills.
While the first Wolf Creek certainly falls under the horror sub-genre of torture porn, Wolf Creek 2 doesn’t
just simply offer just more of the same. There definitely is the
expected bloody carnage but McLean shoves Mick front and center this
time. This entry also has a broader sense of humor, almost turning Mick
into a Freddy Krueger-version of himself with one-liners and some
over-the-top antics. A couple of action scenes threaten to take over,
but have no worries mates, once Mick gets Paul back to his catacombs, it
turns into a bloody intense one-on-one. Let’s also say, never tell a
sadistic psycho: “You’ll have to do better than that.” Yes, horror
hounds, Mick is back and just as nasty — with a near perfect audio/video
presentation and a wealth of special features — making Wolf Creek 2 a welcome return and worth a purchase for fans of the original.
Photo courtesy RLJ/Image Entertainment