Wolf Creek - A new breed of horror?

Discussion in 'Movies' started by RyanAn, Dec 28, 2005.

  1. RyanAn

    RyanAn Screenwriter

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    Wolf Creek, the new low-budget looking Australian film from director Greg McClean.

    What did everyone think of this movie?

    When I say a new breed of horror, I mean, it seems like horror films these days are going to a new point of not going for the gusto and relying more on build-up, without the conclusion. The first part can be perfectly fine, while the second is just not accectable.

    The film itself is a meer 99 minutes, with more than half of that not having a remote scary portion anywhere in the film. I loved the establishing bonds between the characters in the beginning, but even they went nowhere. There was literally 45 minutes of nothingness, and only in the last half hour or so remotely scary. The feeling that I leave the movie with is that I forgot that I was watching a horror film in the beginning. Somewhere I started to believe that I was just watching a roadtrip movie with some absouletly astoninshing visuals in the interspliced skyline. Then, we take a turn for an average horror film with below average gore and scaryness and less than eventfull outcome.

    It's not that I hated or loved the movie, but feel indifferent. The first half is a great road trip and showcases some amazing locations in South Australia, but for some reason the tail end takes a turn for the worse.

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    Ryan
     
  2. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    IMO, this film isn't horror in the sense of seeing scary things to ease tension and have a good time doing it, it's an assault on the viewer, an exercise in sadism to be endured rather than enjoyed. It falls into the category of films like Seven where the viewer just feels badly about the human condition after it's over.

    That spine severing
    scene in particular is the cruelest scene i've seen in a film in some time. I guess you can tell that I didn't care for it, it's a morally bankrupt affair that sets out to shock rather than entertain.

    Just one man's opinion.
     
  3. Henry Gale

    Henry Gale Producer

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    My second viewing of Kong didn't work out the other day, talkative people.
    So I wandered down the hall I went into Wolf Creek.
    A few days before I had happenned to read a lengthy piece on the actual events the movie is based on.
    Sorry to tell you this John, the spine severing was the real life murderers MO.
    So, even though there was a lot of travelogue at the front, there was also a lot of character establishment going on and I was pretty much dreading the rest of the movie.
    I was reminded of an experience almost 30 years in the past.
    The Texas Chainsaw Massacre seemed much too real to me. The first 10 or 15 minutes consisted of things I was involved in at that time. Central Texas, old dilapidated farm houses. I walked out, NOT going to watch a bum trip about activities I relish.
    I've seen it since and actually became close friends with the art director, blah, blah, blah.
    But in 1976 I was not prepared for it.
    Someday I hope to explore Australia. So, again, do I want to see a drama of a real horrific event there?
    It was pretty rough viewing. It was a true story.
     
  4. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    I knew that it was supposedly based on true events, which did factor in to my opinion of the film.
     
  5. Quentin

    Quentin Cinematographer

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    Nope. Didn't care for it. This is not horror as I like or expect. It is not genre so much as it is just docu-drama-like shock film.

    As a case for low budget makeup? Awesome. As a film? Not worth my time.

    HOSTEL is much better, much more fun, and much more a genre film for audiences to squirm AND enjoy.
     
  6. ChrisDixon

    ChrisDixon Second Unit

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    I haven't seen this one yet, but sometimes the ones that creep up on you without being a horror movie at first can be the most disturbing. Audition starts out like a quirky romance and then just punches you in the face. It's one of the most effective movies I've seen in recent years. Open Water is another example of a creepy movie that isn't horror, per se. It's that little feeling of dread in your gut that tells you something is coming.

    Chris
     
  7. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    That's just it, Chris, I don't want to be *disturbed* by a horror film, I can get disturbed by watching the news, I want to be entertained by a horror film.

    This film is just ugly, depraved and sick with no redeeming value at all, again, just my opinion.
     
  8. Quentin

    Quentin Cinematographer

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    I was going to compare this film to AUDITION. Another film I loathe and never want to think about again. I'm with John - I don't want to be screwed up by a movie, I want to be entertained.
     
  9. Romier S

    Romier S Producer

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    I do thankfully which is why I'm very much looking forward to seeing this soon. I'm not looking to have "fun" when watching a horror film. I don't have "fun" watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but I am most certainly *captivated* by it as a film. It's an assault on the senses, it disturbs, and most importantly SCARES the hell out of me which is what I'm looking for when I sit down to watch something classified as horror.

    Afterall, I surely don't think we should be walking out of Se7en with shiny happy feelings about the human condition.[​IMG] It's not the point of the movie, nor should it be.

    As John said, this is just one man's opinion. Hell, comparisons to Audition, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre make me want to see Wolf Creek even more to be quite honest. This type of film really does come down to preference though and what you expect from a supposed "horror" film. So I can definitely understand your viewpoints in not taking a liking to this movie (or Audition for that matter) for the reasons mentioned.

    I'll be sure to post some thoughts on Wolf Creek after I've seen it this weekend.
     
  10. Bradley Newton

    Bradley Newton Stunt Coordinator

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    I have to say that I was absolutely blown away by Wolf Creek. We didn’t know anything about this walking in to it. We thought it was just another cheesy horror movie. It turned out to be one of the most disturbing films I have ever seen. I haven’t felt so shaky and upset since seeing the first Evil Dead in the theater when I was in ninth grade. What makes it even more disturbing is that it’s based on a true story, mostly the Ivan Milat case, and it also borrows from the Bradley Murdoch trial, which just ended last week.
    I almost walked out but I am impressed by how well acted and directed it was, while being absolutely repulsed by it. Can you despise a film and admire it at the same time?
    What makes it work is the way the first hour is like a documentary and you really get to know and like the characters. I just cannot put into words the intensity that this film has. And it really does fool you. The first hour or more really fools you. You forget that it is a horror movie. And the director does a fantastic job of showing you the geography of the Wolf Creek area of the outback and making you realize just how vast and away from civilization you are. I just cannot tell you the sense of dread that the film builds. Way before anything happens you want to walk out.
    There were a lot of walk outs. A lot. And there was (strangely) applause as the credits rolled. I’m glad I saw it. Again, I haven’t had that kind of an experience in a movie theater in decades.
    I may see it again, just to admire how technically brilliant it is. And to watch in amazement at John Jarratt’s performance.
    I personally recommend not reading too much about Wolf Creek if you're thinking of seeing it, (I’ve tried to be vague) but if you have the stomach for it, I cannot recommend it highly enough. Greg McLean is a director to keep an eye on for this is an unforgettable debut film.
     
  11. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    I've said this in the past and is the root of why I can't handle these sort of horror films, a film can be as gruesome as it wants to be, however it's the context that the gruesomness is contained in that I cannot stomach.

    Films like Wolf Creek, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Seven are far too close to reality for me to enjoy, it's as if i'm watching a snuff film and seeing actual people getting brutally tortured and murdered, why on Earth would I want to put myself through that? It isn't entertaining and it certaintly isn't theraputic in any way, it just depicts how fucked up people are and as I said I can see that on the news every night.

    Films like Evil Dead 1&2, Jeepers Creepers and The Devil's Rejects etc are gruesome, but they either have some sort of fantastical element to them or are so over the top with violence that they then venture into the absurd and comical and thus I am able to enjoy them because they obviously don't resemble any sort of reality.

    That is the distinction for me and the very reason I can't enjoy films like Wolf Creek, and the fact that it was based on real events where real human beings were tortured and killed makes it even worse than it otherwise would have been.

    How I feel after films like this usually comprises of sadness than anger and ultimately depression because I can't help but think of how I would feel if someone had done those terrible things to people that I care about. During that aweful scene with the girl's spine being cut, all I could think about was that this girl has parents, she has a mother and a father who love her and freinds who care about her and will miss her and here is this sick fuck cutting her up like she was nothing.
    I just obsess over those thoughts, it's either a charcater flaw or the fact that perhaps i'm a complete puss. [​IMG]

    I went to this only knowing that it was based on a true case, without reading any reviews, I wish that I had, though, I never would have gone because I would have gotten the sense ahead of time that this wasn't for me. But, I don't believe in walking out on films so I stuck around.

    Anyhoo, didn't mean to bum you out, just wanted you to know why I disliked the film, although, if I had to evaluate it on a technical level, it would rate very high, the film looked good and the acting and effects were great...a little too great, but great all the same. [​IMG]

    Have a Happy New Year, folks! [​IMG]
     
  12. Romier S

    Romier S Producer

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  13. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    Well, the question was actually rhetorical, as for the rest, I realize that some people like that sort of thing, i'm just not one of them is all.
     
  14. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    Hmm....I was going to wait for the DVD release but I might go see this today. Having read Roger Ebert since I was very little I've noticed he only gives "NO STAR" ratings to horror movies when they're like what John has talked about here. CHAOS was one earlier this year, which was a LAST HOUSE ripoff but it was mainly made to create controversy with its violence, torture and vile feel. It appears WOLF CREEK is getting the same rep.
     
  15. Inspector Hammer!

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    Romier,
    in regards to your edit, I fully realize that, but as I said I feel that way everytime I turn on the news or pick up a newspaper, I don't really need that message conveyed in the films that I watch as well. It serves no purpose for me other than to hammer that into my head and to seriously bum me out.

    I KNOW that the world is sick and full of maniacs, to see it in movies just becomes redundant and unnecessary IMO.
     
  16. Romier S

    Romier S Producer

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    Understandable, and I see where you're coming from.

    Though I would then like to pose a question to you John out of pure curiosity. (and this without wanting to go in circles as far as the discussion is concerned, but hey it's a debate and I thrive on such things[​IMG]). Wouldn't that same line of thinking apply to most "genre" films in general? History has shown us a multitude of wars for instance. You can read about them in a book, or even choose from a plethora of documentary footage to take in. Would that make seeing a film based on say World War II redundant and unnecessary?
     
  17. Jordan_E

    Jordan_E Cinematographer

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    I used to watch such movies without batting an eye...and then I became a father to a beautiful daughter and really can't bring myself to "enjoy" such movies anymore, especially when it is supposedly based on real events.
     
  18. Quentin

    Quentin Cinematographer

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    I won't speak for John, but for myself it comes down to telling an interesting story with captivating themes and characters. Sure, I can read about war history in books, but KELLY'S HEROES gives me a story I can hook into.

    I actually think SEVEN is a great film. Yes, it is disturbing, but the themes and characters hook me in and captivate me. I actually think the beginning of WOLF CREEK is well done and interesting. He obviously knows Australia and the backpacking thing well. But, other than pure sadism, the film doesn't go anywhere further. No depth, no character arc, no interest. In other words, it does not adhere to all the genre conventions of horror, and as such is not a 'complete' film to me.

    HALLOWEEN is about a sick bastard...but, it has more character and story than WOLF CREEK. It scares, but it also does more.

    But, hey...if you want the crap scared out of you and/or want to squirm in your seat - AUDITION and WOLF CREEK will do the job. I can't dispute that.
     
  19. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    Romier,
    there is a significant distinction there, wars, particularly WW2, are an important part of our history that have defined us as a nation, they've maintained our freedom and kept evil doers at bay, or they at least try to.

    So, given that I have never been exposed to the realities of combat, it is useful, and even necessary, to me to see what those brave souls went through so that I might sit here and talk on this forum with you right now, thus I will watch them as long as they're accurate. It's tough, I won't lie, Saving Private Ryan was a bitch to get through, but it's an important subject to see and understand.

    Seeing senseless murder as depicted in Wolf Creek on the other hand, serves no useful purpose to me, which, again, is why I don't want to see it within a context that is too realistic.
     
  20. Andy Sheets

    Andy Sheets Cinematographer

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    I haven't seen Wolf Creek yet, but I agree with the sentiment regarding what I look for in horror stories, "stories" being an important word. Sometimes a sustained experience or sensation is fine but after a while such films get old. Wolk Creek might be very well made, but is it really doing anything that the Texas Chainsaw Massacre and many other films didn't already do?

    I continue to be concerned that for horror films today, it seems like there are only two options available: "remake" The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, or do a teenaged slasher film like Scream (I guess there's lately been a third option, which is Asian ghost stories). Anyone remember back when horror films had a wide variety of settings and subject matter, and people who weren't pretty young things got killed? [​IMG]
     

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