Writer/director Greg McLean elects to rub the audience's face in some appallingly brutal violence, as though punishing them for being dumb enough to buy a ticket in the first place.
Pop quiz: You're taking a road trip in the Australian outback or the Deep South or in the outskirts of the Rocky Mountains when you are abducted by a maniac who ties you up and begins torturing your friends. By some miracle, you are able to untie your hands, grab the maniac's gun and shoot him the neck, rendering him unconscious. Now, do you:
A. Admire the hand-carved bunnies on the handle of the gun with your back turned to the body?
B. Spend five or ten minutes untying your friends and looking around frantically for the keys to the broken down car out back?
C. Take a nap?
D. Run around outside screaming for help even though you know you are at least 50 miles from any other human being?
E. Make out with one of the tied up friends because, well, she's just that hot?
F. Search the maniac's pockets for his lighter so you can have a cigarette?
G. Take the end of the gun and bash the maniac's skull in until his brains are all over the floor, then take his brains and bury them out back, then dismember all four of his limbs, douse them in gasoline, and light them on fire?
If you answered A-F, you are likely one of the idiots in this movie and eligible for an all-expenses paid trip to the outback, led by our trusty tour guide, Otto the Ex-Con, who has a fetish for nubile, young twenty-somethings. In fact, Liz (Cassandra Magrath), manages to get Mick Taylor's (John Jarratt) gun and shoot him. He lies splayed unconscious on the floor while her friend, Kristy (Kestie Morassi) is hung up from the ceiling bleeding from virtually every orifice on her body. Instead of taking the end of the gun and plunging it into the guy's eye socket, she takes a pathetic swing at his ribcage and gives up in favor of getting her friend down and running away. Does Mick get up? Of course he does.
Unfortunately, this all happens about an hour into the movie. Prior to this brutality, which is almost entirely without entertainment value and is just brutality for brutality's sake, Ben (Nathan Phillips), Liz, and Kristy spend their time driving across Australia, eventually stopping at Wolf Creek, which is a site where a meteor slammed into the earth. That's where their battery dies and Mick shows up to help. It's basically a wasted hour, establishing nothing other than the country where the movie takes place.
I've seen enough of these "maniac out in the middle of nowhere" films. This one is no fun and takes far too long getting to the maniac, who's not particularly interesting, has no back story, and doesn't even wear any interesting clothing, like a mask or something. Lacking any such hook, writer/director Greg McLean elects to rub the audience's face in some appallingly brutal violence, as though punishing them for being dumb enough to buy a ticket in the first place. If you're one such person, I suspect the only other person in the theater will be McLean himself, in the back row, pants down, masturbating to his own bloody fantasies.
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