I find Wolf Creek to be a fairly underappreciated slasher film. It does not seem to have aged like a fine wine. It seems that more detractors than defenders come out of the woodwork as the film ages. Despite this fact, I found Wolf Creek to be a refreshing take on the slasher genre that can grow easily tiresome and predictable.
Slasher films follow a different model than most other subgenres of horror. Slasher films tend to follow the character of the villain, the antagonist, rather than the victims and protagonist. You spend more time in these films developing an understanding for the psychological debacle that is the slasher's mind, rather than focusing on the always predictable storylines of the victims. Wolf Creek follows this slasher formula by developing a new persona in the form of Mick Taylor the Australian serial killer.
Using Aussie wit and swagger, Mick brings a new turn to the slasher flick. He is genuinely unsettling and jovial at the same time. It makes an impact on the viewer unlike any recent slasher villain in that you are disturbed more with yourself for falling for his sadistic charm at the beginning of the film only to be witness to his slaughter of the innocent later on. The far-too-absent John Jarratt gives a fantastic performance, and like Anthony Hopkins, has a hard time escaping his role in the eyes of movie patrons, even when he plays the quaint widower (Rogue, another superb horror film).
It is with this respect I have for Wolf Creek that fuels my disgust for the sequel. While the original was no walk in the park from a grotesque violence perspective, the sequel crossed the line. The writers took a morbidly atrocious plot and threw in an awkard scene of Australian Jeopardy to try and blend back in the Mick we grew to adore and abhor from the first film. And I will say, that while I bashed the scene in from of Efrit, I secretly found that quiz scene to be the highlight of the film. It was by far the most entertaining moment, paying homage in a far more blunt manner to the unsettling black humor horror from the first film. Sadly, this scene alone does not save it.
What follows is a spiral down the rabbit hole. And like the spawn of pestilence they are on Australian ecosystems, the rabbit only eats away at what disturbing sense could be made of Mick's existence until all we have is a Saw-sequel-esque ending of fruitless chaos and carnage.
Wolf Creek 2 simply took the model from the first film and pumped it with just a little too much meth. Instead of teasing and tickling moments of terror with Mick's wide, cold smile. We get what equates to a remake-style over-saturation of what the character is capable of. And what it does is end up murdering the murderer before our eyes. Every slasher has a method to their madness, and to twist that too far out of place ruins what made them unique.