Let's review a 2005 horror film I watched while doing yoga (gotta stay in shape you know.)
Wolf Creek. A movie supposedly "based on true events," it follows the genre of "bunch of kids in the wilderness get murdered by a serial killer."
I watch these sorts of movies for three reasons:
1.) for horror and terror and to get scared (not usual)
2.) to picture myself in the situation to convince myself that I would totally smash the killers face in with a cinder block and, um, live.
3.) To laugh as people who aren't smart enough to arm themselves with cinder blocks bite the big one.
The first - I kid you not - 60 out of 99 minutes in this film are setting up the plot. Wow. And everyone speaks in accented English and most of the scenes are in noisy settings (at a party, in a moving car), so really, it was a difficult to even understand what was going on. By looking it up on Wikipedia, I learned that two girls from England meet an Australian guy at a party (in Australia) and decide to go on a road trip through the Outback. They end up at Wolf Creek (in reality, actually spelled Wolfe Creek) crater, look at it, try to drive away but find their car doesn't go. Enter serial-killer- masquerading-as-kindly-old-desert-guy. He tows them and their car to his place and offers them some rainwater (cue the I'd-ever-drink-water-from-possible-serial-killer reaction - see #2 above.)
After reading online some reviews of this movie, I know that mainstream critics panned the movie as "...depicting the brutal tracking, torture and mutilation of screaming young women" and some said they walked out of theaters. Others said "if the film evokes squeamishness, it has done its job," and in an interview Quinton Tarantino called it the scariest film he'd ever seen.
Now you're curious right? Well, I'll save you 39 minutes and just tell you what happens:
* One girl wakes up with her hands and feet bound. She gets away. + for her
* Instead of running or hiding or finding a weapon, she sneaks around and finds the other girl being tortured (tied up, shot at, apparently sexually assaulted.) First girl watches Outback dude make a few attempts to kill her friend (several -- [minuses] for doing nothing but breathing heavily and staring, including missing an opportunity to get the gun) before she concocts an elaborate explosion to draw his attention (still has no weapon).
* Several -- for being clever but still missing an opportunity to grab the gun, drawing out the scene and giving killer-guy a chance to beat on her friend some more (bonking her head around mostly).
* Half-hearted + for finally getting the gun. And finding a way to shoot the guy. Across the ear. Sorta + for then trying to shoot him in the head, but she couldn't get the gun to work (I have to admit I don't know how to shoot a gun... yet.)
* Major -- for then hitting him with the gun - not, perchance, smashing his face, but patting him lightly across his meaty shoulder. Even when she see a dead body hanging on his wall.
* Girls get away, get in his truck, go back into the house, dig in his pockets looking for keys (more -- for not tying him up or smashing face again.) They get truck started.
* OH SURPRISE! He's alive and - DUH - he has the gun! - - - for taking too long to try to run him over. And failing.
* Now serial killer takes on the "immortal and omnipresent" status sometimes reserved for such stereotypical characters. Girls drive away - in the dark, but with the headlights on (debating with myself if I would or not.) Well, they drive to the brink of a cliff, then get out and -- noisily chat about pushing the car of the precipice (knowing full well the guy is probably right behind them - should mention, cars in this movie are prone to turning off, loosing their keys or not making noise at the whim of the director.) They push the car off (sorta + though they should have done it sooner) and -- instead of hiding in the very prominent bush - climb halfway down the cliff to hide from bad guy.
* Bad guy goes down to check to see if dead girls are in the car. They try to steal his truck but he has taking the keys. They decide to hide and then... GO BACK TO TORTURE-TOWN to steal another car. That night. Why wait until morning hu? I'm sure Mr. Omnipotent never sleeps either. -_-
* First girl goes into guys garage and finds - gasp - a collection of mementos from murdered tourists of the Wolf Creek Crater. --- for taking the time to watch not one, but two different camcorders to see this. Including one of her and her friends. YOU ALREADY KNOW HE'S A MURDER! You saw the dead body hanging on the wall. You already know you're there!
* She gets in a car, gets stabbed by guy who was in the back seat and somehow knew she was going to get into that specific one (there were like 20) gets her fingers cut off trying to defend herself, and he cuts her spine. Whoopie. She's dead.
* The next death was pretty well composed. Eventually. Girl #2 waits around for her friend who never comes, then starts (--) running(??) down the middle of the road. Sees a car, gets in, nice old kindly not-killer takes the keys out of the ignition (this is very important), unlocks his trunk to get her a blanket and gets shot in the head. Mr. Everywhere has been trailing her this whole time! He then lets her (oh yeah, he's into torture) get the keys and start up the car because..
* He has a faster car! So he pulls up along side her and she shoves him off the road and then he takes aim at her with his gun and... (I'm thinking "duck! duck!")
* ++ for the killer! Shoots the tires out of her car! V. clever. But then he tires of her and just shoots her. Well that's fine I guess.
* Back to Torture Town, remember there's a boy? Well he's tied up with his arms out (crucified) and little tiny nails threw his wrists, hanging next to a dead body. Long drawn out scene of him removing himself from nails and walking out of the place (after bandaging his wrists).
* That's it. He wanders into desert, falls asleep, is picked up by tourists. Roll credits
* Actually, roll "where-are-they-now" text at the end (which I can't decide if I like or not). Girls were never found, police thought the guy did it (why - did he nail himself through both wrists?) but he was cleared of all charges and lives in Australia. For a moment I was thinking, well, I guess he didn't know the guy was a serial killer, or that he had killed tourists from Wolf Creek before. Y'know, since he didn't watch a few movies in the garage.
* But he saw that body on the wall! And they guy obviously tortured him. And how did they meet the guy - WOLF CREEK. And couldn't the police have investigated, oh, say, missing persons.. who were headed for Wolf Creek... I dunno. Maybe the rainwater wiped their memory (Oh. Forgot to tell you. She watched a camcorder movie on that too. In case you didn't get it. The rain water was drugged.)
Consensus = this movie sucked. Oh. And was not based on a true story. Supposedly there was a murderer in Austraila who killed hitchhikers, and one apparently tied up a girl and shot at her. That's it. If you're looking for a visceral horror movie, rent The Hills Have Eyes - either the old one or the remake. They both are much more successful than this movie in making one squeamish.