Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Wolf Creek

Wolf Creek is one of those movies that I've been putting off renting because it looks so stressful. I don't know about you, but I have to be in the mood for certain types of movies: foreign films, graphic movies, tearjerkers, etc. On a side note, when I went to rent this movie, two of the clerks were discussing it. Both late teens, early 20's. The one girl was saying she liked it while the guy (trying too hard to be "awesome") was poo pooing the fact that the actual acts (I don't want to spoil it for you, so I won't be specific) weren't shown shot for shot as they happened. In other words, if someone was being gutted, he didn't want to have to imagine it (God forbid he be asked to think! Noooooooo!) he wanted to see it. Some people are so full of shit. I have zero patience for people with no imagination. "Cool dudes" like this is why shitball movies like The Fast and The Furious 3: Tokyo Drift will continue to make money at the box office. There's always a Gen Y moron waiting in the wings to be eXtreme! Rhee!

Wolf Creek is one of those "based on a true story" movies. Here's the synopsis of the film: A chilling, factually-based, story of three road-trippers in remote Australia who are plunged into danger when they accept help from a friendly local.

I rented the "Unrated" version of Wolf Creek, which I had 5 days to watch. It took me 3 days to finally gather the nerve to start watching it and a 4th day to finish it because it was stressing me out and was seriously brutal. When I say brutal, don't translate that as "gory." Though Wolf Creek has been compared to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre by the more unimaginative "reviewer," I fail to see the similarities other than the whole "based on true events" aspect and maybe the fact that the gore was actually much more minimal than the "Unrated" label would lead you to believe. From what I've read, the only difference between the Unrated and the Rated 'R' version is a few deleted scenes that really didn't add much to the storyline. According to the Review Board: The documentary style of this film creates a level of realism which heightens the impact of the violence. That violence is frequent and, in some scenes, prolonged. Unlike typical “horror” movies, Wolf Creek does not employ the usual tension-releasing devices (such as exaggerated special effects or comedic relief), nor the stylised approaches to depictions of violence, instead striving for a tone of realism that takes it out of the realm of fantasy. This very realistic tone results in a film of high impact and the impact of the violence is high. So there you have it.

Though I'm a fan of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, I found Wolf Creek to be considerably more disturbing. I think a big part of that is due to the fact that in Wolf Creek half the movie is comprised of character development and getting to know the characters and the latter half is these same characters that you've come to care about (I liked all three of the protagonists) fighting for their lives against a callous bastard of an antagonist.

Though I thought the movie looked great, had terrific acting and was seriously suspenseful, I'm not sure if I would buy it on DVD simply because I personally found it depressing. The fact that these people I'd come to like as characters were so brutally murdered without provocation was just really unsettling, not to mention the way in which they were murdered. Shot on digital film, the movie looks polished and very professional. Not once was I reminded that this was the director's first full-length film. An amazing job overall, not to mention the actors. They were all superb, plausible and completely engaging. Again, this all came to make the movie even more realistic and disturbing when it came time for the bloodshed. For once, the movie didn't go where I thought it was going and the person I expected to survive, didn't.

Definitely not for the squeamish, but if you like your adrenaline in the form of suspense this is just what the doctor ordered.


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