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Wolf Creek 2 (Blu-ray Review)

Wolf Creek 2 - www.whysoblu.comLured by the promise of an Australian holiday, exchange student Paul visits the notorious Wolf Creek Crater. His dream Outback adventure soon becomes a horrific reality when he encounters the site’s most infamous local, Mick Taylor (John Jarratt). When Paul attempts to flee, Mick pursues him across a hostile wasteland and eventually drags him back to his underground lair. After seeing the true magnitude of Mick’s monstrosity, Paul’s only hope of surviving, where no one has before, will be to use every ounce of cunning to outwit the man behind the monster.  

 

Wolf Creek2

Film 

The “Wonder From Down Under” has returned in the form of serial killer/rapist/sadist/torturer Mick Taylor. It’s only been roughly ten years since the first Wolf Creek film hit theaters and elevated Mr. Taylor to horror icon status. Well, he’s back at it again. This time out his proclivities for violence are a little bit more direct than they were in the first film. No longer is Mick Taylor going to remain hidden in the shadows waiting to strike or to pretend to befriend naive tourists and what not. No, Mick Taylor is out in front in this very bloody UNRATED cut of Wolf Creek 2. Director Greg McLean has returned to the director’s chair and co-crafted yet another horror-piece.

This time out you have Mick Taylor being picked on by the police before he gets back into the swing of hunting down tourists out in the big Outback. The thing that struck me most, early on, was the blatant red herring of the film that was saved for last in the last film – as if the orders were reversed. I dug that take in the sequel and I also dud that Taylor was out in front and pretty much owned every scene he was in. He’s a very intimidating force of nature that can take a hit or two and give it right back. On this tour the body count rises and is a bit more direct with some social commentary and kangaroos, in what could be one of the wackiest scenes in recent horror memory.

As far as our protagonists go the main cat in danger is Paul, who is an English exchange student out to visit the great Outback but an unfortunate chance encounter with the “Wolf Creek” killer has him thinking he made a big mistake even coming to Australia, because Mick Taylor is like the Terminator. He will not stop, ever, until you are (tortured, humiliated, and ground up into chuck) dead. Wolf Creek 2 is anything but subtle and from what I’ve been reading, some of the reviews are mixed on that angle. I’ve read that some folks miss the Mick Taylor from the first film. In the first film Taylor was more of a tactician as opposed to a direct killer.

It’s a no-brainer that Mick Taylor runs the sow here and that the film has been set in his favor with the spotlight shining directly on him. Everyone else does what he or she can to stay alive but in the end Taylor isn’t a pushover. I do like the first Wolf Creek a bit more, because the ending to that film was devastating whereas the ending to Wolf Creek 2 was perplexing. I see what they did there but it was totally unexpected. John Jarratt plays Mick Taylor with glee but you’d be surprised to hear him say (in the special features) that he has to go to a special place in order to retreat from the darkness, because he’s not a fan of characters like Mick Taylor.

Director Greg McLean and company bring the pain and gore to this second outing and as of this writing I just found out that Greg McLean and his co-writer Aaron Sterns have written TWO novel prequels focusing on Taylor’s origins and what drove him to become a maniac. I’m very interested in that. If you were at all a fan of the first film then I would highly recommend you give Wolf Creek 2 a chance, because Wolf Creek 2 is what The Descent 2 was to The Descent…entertaining as hell. I will also have to check out those prequel novelizations some time soon.

 

Wolf Creek 2

Video

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

Clarity/Detail: The clarity and detail on this Blu-ray is great. Contrast and sharpness levels are on point, with only hint or two of softness towards the end of the film. This with the bits of crush here and there keeps the film from attaining reference status in the video department.

Depth: The Outback is where I want to be. The depth in those scenes is a testament to the great cinematography in place. The vistas, the heat, the cold of the night, etc., are epic in scope.

Black Levels: I only spotted a couple of instances of crush here and there but nothing to intrusive or bothersome.

Color Reproduction: Colors are big, bold, and vibrant. Banding and pixilation are absent. Check out the color palette during those epic sunsets for a special treat.

Flesh Tones: Flesh tones are nice and natural all things considered. Mick Taylor has a bit of heavy olive tan due to being out there in the sun everyday getting his hunt on.

Noise/Artifacts: Noise and artifacts are not a problem at all and I was shocked, because several major scenes were shot using Go Pro cameras and if you’ve seen those cameras you’ll see how tiny they are. I was glad to see that noise, debris, dirt, speckle, and artifacts were nowhere to be found on this Blu-ray transfer.

Wolf Creek 2

Audio 

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD MA 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH

Dynamics: There seems to be a renaissance going on where lots of independent and lower budget features are being given so much love in ted-specs department on Blu-ray. Wolf Creek 2 is one of these movies. Besides having near-reference vide, as was mentioned in the video section, the boys on the mixing board have amplified the horrors of the Outback to beyond 11. The sound quality on this Blu-ray is extremely aggressive without being disruptive. There are many moments of stillness in addition to some amazing scenes of destruction that are captured beautifully by the DTS lossless soundtrack.

Low Frequency Extension: Oh, there’s plenty of rumble down under on this Blu-ray. There are several epic car chases and the LFE comes through with flying colors in that respect.

Surround Sound Presentation: The surround sound channels kick it up a notch and if you pay close enough attention you will hear Mick’s gunfire from his hunting/sniper rifle whiz from the back to the front in shocking clarity.

Dialogue Reproduction: Dialogue is super clean and crisp those Australian accents aside you will have no problem understanding what is being said. Granted, a lot of what’s being said comes off more like screams of agony.

Wolf Creek 2 - www.whysoblu.com

Extras 

The pickings are slim but worthy of note. Deleted and extended scenes are presented in a weird mesh of an aspect ratio and the documentary included is a real highlight of the package. There’s a DVD copy included, as well.

  • Butcher’s Cut: Deleted Scenes – (HD, 23:56) A nice helping of extended and elates scenes that either omit dialogue or spell out things that are best left to the imagination. I appreciate the less direct scenes that were used in the final film as opposed these more direct scenes in the supplements.
  • Creating a Monster: The Making of Wolf Creek 2 – (HD, 52:07) This documentary was very unexpected, because Wolf Creek 2 doesn’t seem like the type of film that would warrant something this extensive. Every imaginable topic gets covered here. You’d be happy to know that many Go Pro cameras were used in the making of Wolf Creek 2, which is pretty epic in its own right. It’s entertaining too.

 

Wolf Creek 2 -

Summary 

I had a good time with the rambunctious sequel to everyone’s favorite Australian “Freddy Krueger.” The Blu-ray looks and sounds fantastic and borders on reference but drops the ball slight in terms of extras but what we do get is a very comprehensive documentary that focuses on every single bit of the filmmaking process and some excellent deleted/extended scenes. I recommend Wolf Creek 2 wholeheartedly. Horror will eat it up

 

Order Wolf Creek 2 on Blu-ray!

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Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

1 Response to “Wolf Creek 2 (Blu-ray Review)”


  1. Eric Flapjack Ashley

    I have mixed feelings about this one. I think it turned out better than I thought a movie coming nine years after the original would have been. But I dislike how Mick is seemingly everywhere at once and indestructible. His intended victims only get one good hit in on him before he starts to dominate them. And I didn’t care for the Saw-like turn this movie seemed to take as far as its violence levels went.

    I will say that I was surprised mightily by the turn of events with the campers, and I did like how none of the characters seemed to do anything stupid as far as horror movie cliches. Even some people who ended up being victims didn’t do anything stupid to deserve it and were rightfully suspicious of him from the start.

    As a side note, I did also really enjoy The Descent 2.