“Welcome to Australia, cocksucker.”
Horror movie fans have been waiting with bated breath for the follow up to the disturbing and successful Wolf Creek, and after nine long years it’s finally arrived. Mick Taylor is back, and he’s as thirsty for backpacker blood as ever.
Unlike the slow building crescendo of the first film, Wolf Creek 2 has a dramatic, attention-grabbing opening sequence that’s laced with villainy. It’s action-packed and immediately proves that this film won’t be a lazy rehash of its predecessor. The story unfolds against the beautiful, but savage, Australian landscape, which can be just as unforgiving as our villain. Actors John Jarratt and Ryan Corr, who play Mick Taylor and Paul Hammersmith, agree that the outback is as much as a protagonist as they are. Jarratt explains, “The outback is very much a character… [It] can kill you without Mick Taylor.”
But it’s not just the storyline and setting that are more fleshed out in the sequel. Audiences will have more exposure to Mick and discover the deep seated motivation behind his murders. Despite this, Jarratt doesn’t believe that Mick has evolved, stating, “You just get to see a hell of a lot more of him.” Corr agrees, “You find out a little bit more. You certainly see a bit more of Mick’s world.” As audiences will discover, this world has a body count to rival that of House of a Thousand Corpses.
What makes Wolf Creek 2 so interesting is that it isn’t a clean-cut horror flick. Writer-director Greg McLean has insisted that he perceives it as an action and suspense film, as well as a comedy. Jarratt agrees that giving Mick more screen time has provided the opportunity to introduce more comedic dialogue to the sequel. The veteran actor says that there’s “a lot of black comedy. You find yourself laughing at things you shouldn’t be laughing at, and feeling a bit guilty about it.”
The fun certainly seems to have permeated behind the scenes of the movie. Jarratt describes how enjoyable it is to play such an evil character, and even jokes about releasing a Mick Taylor Navman; “Turn around, ya fuckin’ idiot. Turn left here, dickhead. You have now found your victim.” Meanwhile, the 25-year-old Corr describes doing his own stunts and “standing around watching the trucks being thrown off a cliff.” He says that he’s grateful for the once in a lifetime experiences he had making the film. He speaks particularly fondly of interacting with the local Indigenous population. “I’d get taken out by the locals to their local shelter and be given a tour around their land and be shown where the female spirit was from and the male spirit. We went roo shooting and made roo curry the next night.”
It’s the injection of dark humour into the horror franchise that makes it so quintessentially Australian. If you removed Mick’s xenophobia and penchant for murder, he could be a charming Australian larrikin. He enjoys a laugh and loves his country. He really could be any one of us. Combine this with the fact that some aspects of the franchise are based loosely on real events, and you can see what’s truly terrifying about Wolf Creek 2. This film isn’t outside the realms of possibility. Mick Taylor and his “foreign vermin” perspective exist in the darkest realms of the Australian psyche. He’s even manifested himself in the cases of Ivan Milat and Bradley John Murdoch. As Jarratt warns, “This isn’t fairytale shit.”
Wolf Creek 2 is in cinemas now.