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Wolf Creek (2005)

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Three backpackers stranded in the Australian outback are plunged in a hellish nightmare of insufferable torture by a sadistic psychopathic local.

Director:

Greg McLean (as Greg Mclean)

Writer:

Greg McLean (as Greg Mclean)
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Popularity
4,151 ( 288)
3 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Jarratt ... Mick Taylor
Cassandra Magrath ... Liz Hunter
Kestie Morassi ... Kristy Earl
Nathan Phillips ... Ben Mitchell
Gordon Poole Gordon Poole ... Old Man
Guy O'Donnell ... Car Salesman
Phil Stevenson Phil Stevenson ... Mechanic
Geoff Revell Geoff Revell ... Petrol Attendant
Andy McPhee ... Bazza
Aaron Sterns Aaron Sterns ... Bazza's Mate
Michael Moody Michael Moody ... Bazza's Old Mate
Andrew Reimer Andrew Reimer ... Flashback Dad
Vicki Reimer Vicki Reimer ... Flashback Mum
Isabella Reimer Isabella Reimer ... Flashback Girl
David Rock David Rock ... Irish Backpacker
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Storyline

Three backpackers travel into the Australian Outback only to find themselves stranded at Wolf Creek crater. Once there, they are encountered by a bushman, Mick Taylor, who offers them a ride back to his place. Little do the three know that their adventure into the Outback would be a complete nightmare after the backpackers find a way to escape.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

90% of them are found in a month. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong gruesome violence, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Darclight Films | Kojo | See more »

Country:

Australia

Language:

English | Swedish

Release Date:

25 December 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El Cazador See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,805,754, 25 December 2005

Gross USA:

$16,188,180

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$30,762,648
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (unrated)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The crater in the film is really in Western Australia, but it is spelled "Wolfe Creek" in reality. See more »

Goofs

In shots from the back seat towards the driver's seat, both the tachometer and speedometer read zero; the car is in neutral and being pulled from the front while the characters are acting. The car is not running or being "driven" by the actors. See more »

Quotes

Mick Taylor: What was it your mate said again? Oh, yeah, that's not a knife - *this* is a knife!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The producers would like to thank ... the people of Hawker, Port Augusta, Flinders Ranges and South Australia, ... Frank, Marie and the entire Mclean family See more »

Alternate Versions

The film was released on DVD in the United Sates in both a rated and an unrated version, with the unrated version running roughly five minutes longer than the rated version. Two new scenes were added to the unrated version (although both of these scenes are contained on the rated DVD as deleted scenes): See more »

Connections

Referenced in Creating a Monster: The Making of Wolf Creek 2 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Devils Ride
(1994)
Written by Col Finley (as C. Finley)
Performed by Col Finley
(ABC Music Publishing/Mushroom Music Publishing)
Courtesy of ABC Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Surprisingly Devastating
3 January 2006 | by cdrucke1See all my reviews

I was thrilled to see a movie like "Wolf Creek" come out in theatres: a straightforward horror film not relying on clever twists (except one, small one) or gimmicks. It was the kind of film "High Tension" started off as before that last act mindf*ck. And while I ended up appreciating what that movie did, I would have loved it more without the twist.

"Wolf Creek" picks up where films like "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and "Last House on the Left" left off, without feeling the need to necessarily "pay homage" to them. I wonder if the fact that it's not American-made has anything to do with that. I also wonder if the non-American influence kept this from becoming predictable or familiar in any way. What you think is going to happen in this film never quite happens. One of the original "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" taglines was, "Who Will Survive and What Will Be Left of Them?" I think this film asks the same question, but doesn't provide so simple an answer.

I think it's best to know little about "what happens" here before seeing it. Most people know the basics--three backpackers on a road trip, they stop at remote Wolf Creek, entering an odd Twilight Zone of stopped time and dead car engines. A friendly bushman stops by willing to help, let the nightmare begin.

I love that director/writer/producer Greg McLean never offers an explanation for the watches and the car engine. What happens in this film seems almost alien--three humans struggling to survive on what appears like a distant, barren planet, up against a hunter with no semblance of humanity in him. Yes, this movie is very similar to "Texas Chainsaw Massacre," but it is in no way a rip-off. While the early-morning showdown on the barren road may look similar to the climax of TCM, it is its own nightmarish entity. In fact, some of the scene reminded me of "Duel." The acting in this movie is brilliant. The three leads--Ben, Kristi, and Liz--are so wonderfully likable, and there is an odd feeling of improvisation in the acting. It's so natural, it seems impossible to script. When everything goes to hell, you want all three of them to survive, and you'll surely be devastated by the slightest injury any of them endures. Many have complained about the hour or so of build up, but I think it was brilliant on McLean's part to make sure we cared about these people, and then to put them through the wringer. It's sadistic, too, emotionally, but it's the sign of a great director.

John Jarratt, as Mick, is unforgettably cruel. Jarratt embodies this character from head to toe, and is fearless in his performance. Mick is an ugly, cruel man, and yet when we first meet him, he seems like the nicest guy in the world. One of the scariest aspects to this film is that you can see yourself falling for all of his tricks.

To be honest, I never want to see "Wolf Creek" again. It's not a fun movie. I left wanting to hate it, because I hated what happened. But I admire this movie for what it managed to do. I truly had to keep repeating to myself, "It's only a movie," (the infamous "Last House on the Left" tagline) but it's so realistic and so unflinching in portraying what happens, that you'll feel as if someone was always peeking around a corner with a camera, filming an actual event. Of course, this is based on true events, and frankly, there is some discrepancy to how "true" this film tries to be (obviously, much of the second act had to be dramatized, and you'll realize why once you see the movie) but it didn't need that "based on true events" tag. It's already very real.

I hate to end on the old "Jaws" cliché, but as I am going to Australia soon, I can say for a fact that this does do for backpacking what "Jaws" did for swimming. I consider this movie a parable of sorts. Well done.


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