The Horror Honeys: Sequels... Sigh.

Sequels... Sigh.

A Revenge Honey Review

Wolf Creek 2 (2014)

Give a filmmaker $50 and he will make you a masterpiece. Give that same filmmaker $50 million and what you get will make you want to jam chopsticks in your eyeballs. That's the basic lesson I learned from watching Greg Mclean's Wolf Creek 2, and then going back and re-watching Wolf Creek.

You see, taken as two entirely separate entities, Wolf Creek 2 might actually be the kind of film that some people would enjoy. But because I am not one of those "some people," when 2 was over, I was actually compelled to go back and view the first film again just to be sure I hadn't prettied up my memories of it. Because in my mind, 2 was so generic and uninteresting, I couldn't even fathom that the same director had been responsible for both movies. I am happy to say that Wolf Creek is still a masterpiece of understated, edge-of-your-seat horror filmmaking with a terrifying villain and a cast of victims that you truly feel for.

However, with the exception of John Jarratt's Mick Taylor, who is still an entirely satisfying villain, absolutely nothing in Wolf Creek 2 held up to the amazing standards set by its predecessor.

I made the mistake of thinking you mattered. You did not.
The Plot: First, there are some cops. But then Mick kills them. And then we meet our heroes/victims, a pair of delightful German tourists who are backpacking the Australian outback. But oh, wait. No. Scratch that. Now there is an English dude in a Jeep. And Mick has a tractor trailer? Wait... Did I accidentally change the channel to Duel? And why are all these kangaroos dying? Oh, look! Spritely old people who will save the day! Oh. Nevermind. Ah, fuck it. Either you're going to see this movie regardless of plot, or you're going to keep reading and listen when I tell you that I'm not sure you should.

The reasons why I loved Wolf Creek when I saw it in theaters, and when I watched it again this evening, is that it was all a totally terrifying surprise. Mclean lulled you into a false sense of security at every turn, encouraging you to root for the heroines and then ripping them away from you with terrifying suddenness. These women weren't victims; they were fighters until their dying breaths. It helped that there was something so eerily charming and yet utterly horrifying about John Jarratt as Mick. He was the likeable Aussie that you would trust with your life until you realized you'd just made the biggest mistake ever.

Everybody is having a good time!
The problem with Wolf Creek 2 is that it veers off into some madcap, straight-to-DVD territory, with gore (well done practical effect gore, I will admit) winning out over substance and Mick turning into some Crocodile Dundee version of Freddie Krueger. While still a clever enough concept for a villain, this sequel version of Mick is all about cracking wise and having a beer with his victims while playing rounds Australian Trivial Pursuit. And while I am all for educating the masses on the history of a country outside their own, I'm not sure this was the right avenue to do so.

And I'm not going to harp on this, but seeing as the first film was almost exclusively devoid of political allegory, was it really necessary to turn the ENTIRE last act of Wolf Creek 2 into a massively heavy-handed metaphor about globalization and immigration? Really?


For me, Wolf Creek 2 was just a case of a film veering way too far from all the things that made the original so great into territory where it almost became parody of itself. And when that happens, you run the risk of tarnishing the memory of what made the first film so wonderful. If I actually had to go back and make sure that Wolf Creek didn't suck, what does that say about the movie you just released?

Revenge Honey Rating: 2 out of 5 Kangaroo Roadkills
I'm going to ask you ONE MORE TIME!
Who was the Australian Prime Minister in 1976, you limey bastard!?!