On the two-year anniversary of 2014's Wolf Creek 2, let's take another look at the outback terror sequel. What’s different for Wolf Creek 2 over its predecessor Wolf Creek? To begin with there is more gore, including two decapitations -- one by high powered rifle and one by hunting knife. There are scenes that evoke nervous giggles, which is something the original didn’t have.
The main difference for Wolf Creek 2 is that it’s all about Mick Taylor. Although he's not in every scene, his presence is felt in every frame and John Jarratt brings him to life with the same maniacal glee as the first film, making Mick a multi-dimensional character as we discover that he’s a proud Australian who tortures and murders backpacking foreigners because he’s sick of them ''coming to his country partying and pissing and acting like they own the fucking place and then going back to where they came from''.
There’s no complex plot to Wolf Creek 2, nor does there need to be. It’s a day in the life of Mick Taylor as he travels the outback terrorizing people; first a pair of troopers who pick the wrong guy to harass. From there Mick explains the rules of camping in the outback to German backpackers Rutger and Katarina and that ends bloodily, to say the least.
The second half of the film is about the conflict between Mick and hapless Englishman, Paul Hammersmith; a conflict that includes a nod to Duel with a harrowing chase segment and ends with Mick playing game show host to a captive Paul in perhaps the bloodiest homage to Who Wants to Be a Millionaire ever filmed. To be honest I had no idea that show was even popular in Australia.
Despite the gore and the presence of the scenery-chewing Jarratt, Wolf Creek 2 never quite achieves the level of menace as the previous film. While Mick dominates the second film, this is a double-edged sword. A little Mick went a long way in Wolf Creek -- remember the chilling ‘head on a stick’ scene? In Wolf Creek 2 we become so accustomed to his presence that he begins to feel like the cranky old grandpa with the nasty hobby. “Mommy, where does grandpa get all those backpacks?” “Shut up and eat your vegemite sandwich, dear.”
Wolf Creek 2 is winning in paying homage to films such as Duel (the previously mentioned chase scene), The Hitcher and even the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The tone is lighter and it’s a hammier film than Wolf Creek; still, it succeeds in showing us that it’s Mick’s world and we’re lucky if he lets us live in it.