Film: Wolf Creek

Wolf Creek is a 2005 Australian horror film directed by Greg McLean.

Very Loosely Based on a True Story (well, several); two English backpackers named Liz Hunter (Cassandra Magrath) and Kristy Earl (Kestie Morassi), plus an Australian one they pick up at a party named Ben Mitchell (Nathan Phillips), are heading out into the Australian wilderness to see the epononymous Wolf Creek; a crater formed by a meteorite impact. Once they've seen it and are leaving, however, they find that their car won't start. A seemingly friendly mechanic named Mick Taylor (John Jarratt) that seems to perfectly and flamboyantly embody every Australian stereotype rolls along and offers to tow their car back to his garage and fix their car for them. They accept; but it turns out he isn't so friendly.

A sequel was released in 2014, alongside a pair of prequel novels, one exploring Mick's childhood, and the other showing his time in the Vietnam War.

This film provides examples of:

  • Bad Samaritan: Two British tourists and a local guy are hiking in Australia when their car breaks down. They are picked up by a man named Mick Taylor, who offers to drive them to his home and fix their car. The man turns out to be a serial killer.
  • Danger Takes A Back Seat: The main character, believing she's gotten away from Mick Taylor, gets into a car, then hears his distinctive chuckle in the seat behind her, right before he stabs her in the back.
  • Decoy Protagonists: Done in the sequel, which follows a backpacking couple initially until Mick crashes their camp and kills the boyfriend. The girlfriend gets away and manages to hitch a ride with the real protagonist, Paul. The girlfriend would shortly die afterwards, and we follow Paul the rest of the film as he tries to escape Mick.
  • Defensive Failure: Subverted. The woman shoots the killer, but it just passes through his neck and doesn't kill him.
  • Developing Doomed Characters: Almost half the film is pretty aimless build-up.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Mick cuts Liz's fingers off because she wrecked his truck.
  • Evil Laugh: John Jarret worked on the evil laugh for six months when he was cas
  • Faux Affably Evil: Mick. Don't let his welcoming Crocodile Dundeeish mannerism fool ya. He's a Serial Killer and has more in common with Hannibal Lecter than Crocodile Dundee.
  • Final Girl: Inverted gender-wise. Both girls die. Ben survives.
  • Fingore: Mick lops several of Liz's fingers off.
  • I'd Tell You, but Then I'd Have to Kill You: Mick says this in response to Ben asking him what he does for a living.
  • Ironic Echo: Ben makes a joke saying Mick probably loves saying "that's not a knife; this is a knife". Mick sadistically repeats the line just before he kills Liz
  • Karma Houdini: Mick - he never get punished for the atrocities he committed.
  • Ship Tease: A deleted scene had Kristy waking up sleeping next to Ben (with her clothes on).
  • Shout-Out: Ben quotes Crocodile Dundee (see Ironic Echo above)
  • Too Dumb to Live: Liz. The old couple from the second film and Paul despite not dying.
  • Unreliable Narrator: One plausible explanation. All the other characters who witnessed Mick's atrocities didn't live to tell the tale. Ben is the only survivor, and he didn't actually witness Mick commit any of his atrocities, so what we see may simply be his story to the police.
  • Vasquez Always Dies: Played straight and subverted. The tomboyish Liz dies first, but the more girly Christie also dies.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: It's actually based on a number of famous Australian murder cases, but Ivan Milat was clearly the strongest influence, based on Taylor's way of selecting victims (backpackers), the switch in demeanour, that it's a man who survives to tell the tale (Paul Onions escaped the real Milat by leaping from a car and running into oncoming traffic), and the way Taylor deals with his victims.
  • What Does She See in Him?: Ben is travelling with two girls, hot, curvy blonde Kristy, and skinny brunette Liz. Guess who he has a crush on.