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Wolf Creek 2 DVD Review

DVD Review- Wolf Creek 2

Distributor: Image/RLJ Entertainment

Street Date: June 24th 2014

Technical Specifications: 480P, Color, 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio, 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio

Runtime: 106 Minutes

Wolf Creek 2 (RLJ Entertainment)

The Film:

Releasing in 2005, the first Wolf Creek film was very loosely based on the horrific “backpacker murders” that took place in New South Wales, Australia in the 1990’s. Ivan Milat, the killer in which “Mick Taylor” is based on, is currently serving seven consecutive life sentences for each of his victims. The first film kept my interest with its slow-build terror and eventual nightmarish realism. It was a hard piece of horror cinema to stomach, drenched in hopelessness and despair, but incredibly well filmed and realized on screen. Though some equated it at the time to the mindless “torture gore” genre, I felt it was elevated by a genuinely creepy style and solid performances from a newcomer cast.

In Wolf Creek 2, Mick Taylor (John Jarratt) kicks off the mayhem almost immediately, this time killing a pair of jerk policeman in his usual brutal style (paired with some eye-rolling one-liners). Our main story begins with a German couple backpacking through rural Australia in hopes of reaching the infamous Wolf Creek crater. After reaching their destination and setting up camp for the night, Mick Taylor tracks the happy couple down, with the female seeking help from British tourist Paul (Ryan Corr). After some standard brutal dispatching courtesy of Mick, Paul is on the run from the crazed Aussie in very unfamiliar territory: the outback.

While I did appreciate the prolonged slow-build first act, as well as the Psycho-style protagonist switch, Wolf Creek 2 is a disappointment, and if we’re being honest here, a fairly run-of-the-mill slasher sequel. John Jarratt’s Mick Taylor has become the zinger-slinging Freddy Krueger of this franchise, and this story runs out of steam far too soon. The gore is downright unbearable at moments, and the creepy style of the first film is absent, replaced by chord shriek “jump scares” and somewhat laughable practical effects. This is a series that has clearly run its course.

Video Quality:

The DVD presentation from Image/RLJ Entertainment is respectable for the format, though it’s not High Definition, the golden-hued color timing looks accurate, and there are no obvious anomalies to the presentation itself.

Audio Quality:

The Dolby Digital 5.1 track included here, while not HD audio, is quite impressive. The subtle musical score (along with the not-so-subtle peaks) are presented in dynamic fashion, and dialogue always comes through clean and clear.

Special Features:

Image and RLJ Entertainment have provided fans of Wolf Creek 2 with a couple of bonus features for this DVD release. Here’s a breakdown of what’s included:

  • Butcher’s Cut: Deleted Scenes- I was surprised to find nearly 24 minutes of deleted scenes included here from the filmmakers. From a group of backpackers relaxing in a hostel to a downright disgusting moment where Mick dismembers a corpse, there’s a lot of random creepiness included here.
  • Creating a Monster: The Making of Wolf Creek 2This nearly feature-length documentary runs over 52 minutes and covers all bases: sequel conception, preproduction, storyboarding, filming, etc. The length is impressive, but I found this entire endeavor to be rather tedious. John Jarratt does provide some interesting thoughts on his character (as a father and family man, the role was tough to tackle), and the practical effects design discussion was entertaining.

The Packaging:

As you can see from the “Unboxing” pictures below, Image/RLJ’s DVD release features a nice slipcover with a matte finish and embossed lettering on the title. On the reverse you’ll find a list of special features, a plot synopsis, and technical specifications. Inside you’ll find the DVD edition for the film. Image and RLJ’s PR department was kind enough to send along a pack of Wolf Creek 2 postcards as well (pictured below).

Wolf Creek 2 (reverse)

Wolf Creek 2 (reverse)

Wolf Creek 2 (interior)

Wolf Creek 2 (interior)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Final Report:

Though I appreciated the first film, Wolf Creek 2 is a repetitive, run-of-the-mill slasher sequel, with John Jarratt’s Mick Taylor becoming the zinger-slinging Freddy Krueger of the franchise. The first film featured a slow-build story that was genuinely terrifying, but this sequel suffers from a repetitive plot and uninteresting characters, among other issues. The good news is that this DVD release from Image/RLJ Entertainment features decent video and audio for the format, and some truly impressive features for fans. While the disc is fine, this sequel left me scratching my head. Some films are better left as stand-alone experiences.

Yours Truly,

Doctor Macabre

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