These pesky kids just never learn! Don? they watch video nasties? Haven? they seen DELIVERANCE or WRONG TURN or THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE or ROADKILL or JEEPERS CREEPERS or any one of a list of film which goes on as long as the outback highway along which the three unfortunates are travelling in Greg McLean? inventive, heart-stopping take on that most hoary old horror scenarios.

You know the score. Three teens on summer vacation, travelling across a desolate landscape ?this time the dazzling arid vistas of the Australian outback. They?e off to visit Wolf Creek a legendary (and real!)ncrater site where a meteorite left a huge chasm in the earth untold centuries earlier. No sooner do the three chums start to explore the crater than things start to go a bit wrong. They?e about to carry on their journey when all their watches stop and their ramshackle car won? start. Resigned to spending a night in the car until they can decide what to do in the morning, the three are delighted when see the headlights of another vehicle emerging from the darkness. Enter a friendly yokel who offers to help them fix their car back at his place. Big mistake?n

This is familiar territory indeed and we?e all seen kids getting picked off one by one by some mutant or nutter lurking in the backwoods or in a cave. But McLean? movie, based on true events (yikes!) is a cut (ahem) above most of its type because its monstrous psychopathic bad guy is no deformed creature or inbred aberration of nature ?he? just an ordinary working bloke. McLean cranks the tension up effortlessly throughout the languid first forty minutes or so and we get to know the three cocky young leads well enough to start getting a bit jittery when Wolf Creek starts towork its strange spell upon them. The tension racks up a notch when the madman, all smiles and false promises, rattles up in his truck and tows them off towards their fate. The first real sign of McLean? original take on this standby storyline occurs when the kids see the lights in the darkness; the audience has been told of Wolf Creek? history and the film beautifully captures its eerie sense of unearthly quiet. We?e heard enough stories of alien abductions of country hicks and weirdos to feel the hairs on the back of our necks rise when the lights start dancing through the night sky and the kids start wondering if they?e got extra-terrestrial company. The relief is almost palpable when it turns out to be a man in a truck and it looks for a while as if their troubles are over. But back at the man? dilapidated encampment,we get the first signs that all is not as it should be with the new arrival. And when the film turns out its head on a dime and one of the girls wakes up bound and chained whilst the other is being brutally tortured nearby, the film becomes something else entirely.

WOLF CREEK will churn your stomach and leave you sitting on the edge of your seat (albeit with a cushion close at hand when the tension gets too much ?which is frequently). The story progresses predictably enough ?there are escapes and recaptures, that supernatural moment when the baddy? down and then ?whoa! ?he? up again. But McLean does it with style, creatinga genuine sense of mounting terror and horror when we realise that there isn? going to be an easy way out for some of these kids. The film is brutal, unrelenting, remorseless, filmed in an almost documentary style in places and there are some sequences which are so visceral they?l live with you for a very long time indeed. You may think you?e seen films like WOLF CREEK too many times before to find anything new here ?but you? be wrong. Not for the faint-hearted, WOLF CREEK is a cut above.

THE DISC: The transfer captures the arid wastes of the outback beautifully and extra feature sincluded a detailed fifty-minute making of, a few redundant deleted scenes and a diretcor? commentary where McLean is joined by the luckless females in the cast.]]>

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