Monday , April 22 2024
A welcome return for Mick Taylor and worth a purchase for fans of the original.

Blu-ray Review: ‘Wolf Creek 2’

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.

Wolf Creek 2, John Jarratt, Ryan CorrAfter 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.

Wolf Creek 2, John Jarratt, Ryan CorrAs 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

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About Cinenerd

A Utah based writer, born and raised in Salt Lake City, UT for better and worse. Cinenerd has had an obsession with film his entire life, finally able to write about them since 2009, and the only thing he loves more are his wife and their two wiener dogs (Beatrix Kiddo and Pixar Animation). He is accredited with the Sundance Film Festival and a member of the Utah Film Critics Association.

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