TV Review: Wolf Creek (Season 1, 2016)

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Following on from the movie duology of the same name, Wolf Creek is a 2016 horror/thriller mini-series available on the streaming service Stan. John Jarratt reprises his film role as Mick Taylor, the notorious serial killer (and generally poor caricature of what we Australians are really like) responsible for killing the family of Eve (Lucy Fry). Eve enlists the help of Northern Territory detective Sullivan Hill (Dustin Clare, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena) in tracking Mick down, in order to make him pay for his crimes.

+ reprising his role as Mick Taylor, John Jarratt makes a great first impression in the series’ opening scene. His trademark laugh and outback colloquialisms are disturbing as always, and Jarratt’s seeming joy in playing this horrible person is a pleasure to watch

– Lucy Fry as Eve is a very mixed bag. It is equal part Eve’s character’s actions, as well as Fry herself’s somewhat limited acting experience which make Eve sometimes enjoyable, such as her moments of vulnerability, but sometimes very ‘over powered’. I found it hard to believe anyone, let alone a traumatised 19 year old foreign girl, would be able to pull off some of her greater deeds, and it really ruined my immersion. Similarly, the idea that she could track a single person throughout the Australian outback is simply laughable
– as much of a fan of Dustin Clare in Spartacus as I am, I was sorely disappointed with how limited his role was. After his introduction, the majority of his screen time in the middle episodes was staring wistfully over some outback desert before getting back in his car or making an exasperated statement to himself
– an attempt at humanising Taylor fell completely flat to me. Much like 2009’s Halloween II did to Michael Myers by revealing a trumatising childhood, some provided reasons for the way Mick acts entirely removed his mystique
– as evil as Mick Taylor is, he doesn’t seem all that bad when every second person Eve meets attempts to cheat, steal from, rape or murder her. Maybe I’m taking it personally, but even the nicer random characters were kind of jerks

> Dustin Clare as clean cut, clean shaven detective Hill was a far cry from his shirtless gladiator in Spartacus. In terms of looks, I don’t think the two could be further apart. I think I prefer the gladiator…

Should you watch this show: Frankly, I found this series very boring. The best part of the films was Jarratt as Mick Taylor, and in this mini series he is relegated to a background character at most. Mega fans of the films may get some enjoyment out of this, but for anyone else, I just recommend watching the first movie and leaving it at that.

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