A horror film actually providing a genuine shock or scare in this day and age is not only a rarity, but a true gem. That being said, the sequel to the 2005 sleeper hit pairs its star and writer/director yet again for more thrills and chills in the second installment of what is shaping up to be a potential franchise. Wolf Creek 2 reunites creator Greg (Rogue, Wolf Creek) Mclean with his modern-day movie monster, played expertly by John (Django Unchained, Australia) Jarratt. This film is uncompromising, unpredictable, and unsettling, just like the first one. But, unlike its predecessor, it is also injected with a twisted and dark sense of humor that some viewers will be distracted by, but others might find wholly engrossing. The banter during his cat-and-mouse games and the sheer delight he takes in his victims' suffering make the villain of this film an odd mix between Crocodile Dundee and Freddy Krueger, which is one of the most unique compliments that can be given to such a bizarre performance.
A motiveless killer, we get a little bit more insight into what makes "Mick" tick. He hates foreigners, of any kind, but mostly when they are rude or invasive. In a sense, it's acting out a murder fantasy for the sole purpose of a misguided and extremely warped sense of duty, all wrapped up in over-the-top ethnocentric rage. So we are treated (or rather, forced into viewing) a brutal slaying of highway patrolmen who dare to pull over the sadistic serial killer in the opening segments of the film, setting the tone that is familiar, but still fresh. We then meet two backpacking and carefree travelers who are unfortunate enough to run into the real-life boogeyman. But the shocks continue as we get a new lead character about one-third into the film, in the form of newcomer Ryan Corr. Mark this reviewer's words: He is going to be a star.
What follows is an endless display of madness, despair, and an unflinching will to survive. Our hero wants to live, but above all else, he wants to beat this monster and be able to tell the tale. The torture scenes make so-called "masters" like Quentin Tarantino and Eli Roth look like amateurs and the oddly-injected humor never seems forced and is a successful way to lull the viewers into a false sense of security, just before the insanity takes it up a notch. The gore is almost too real for comfort and this is by no means an Academy Award-worthy feature film, but it is an impressive debut for some actors and a brilliant follow-up to the surprise success that shocked the world nearly a decade ago. Horror fans will not be disappointed. And the average moviegoer will be torn between shutting it off mere minutes into the viewing and staying for the harrowing conclusion, all the while cringing and rooting for good to triumph over senseless and gruesome evil.