In the Wolf Creek TV series, 19-year-old Eve (Vampire Academy’s Lucy Fry) is visiting Australia with her family. While there, she narrowly survives an encounter with Mick Taylor (John Jarratt). Unfortunately, her mother, father, and little brother don’t fare as well. After regaining consciousness, Eve sets out to turn the tables on Mick and even the score. Along the way, she meets a motley crew of allies and adversaries.
Also featuring are Dustin Clare, Deborah Mailman, Miranda Tapsell, Richard Cawthorne, Jake Ryan, and Jessica Tovey.
The series was developed for television by Wolf Creek series creator Greg McLean. Although McLean only directed one episode. The remainder were helmed by Tony Tilse (Ash vs. Evil Dead). The season was cowritten by McLean, Peter Gawler, and Felicity Packard.
I enjoyed the first and last episodes of Wolf Creek Season One. But what came between felt awfully muddled at times and frequently gave the impression that it was stretched to fit the six-hour format. Over the course of the second through fifth episodes, Eve finds herself in a series of debacles that have little to nothing to do with Mick Taylor or the outcome of the show. I lost interest at several episodes. In a lot of ways, I think the concept may have worked better had it been condensed to two hours and released as a feature film.
The opening and closing episodes both succeed in making an emotional connection but that’s something that is often missing from what comes between. Also, there is very little contact of any kind between Eve and Mick in episodes two-five and as such, she has a series of fairly trivial altercations with the locals that appear to be little more than filler to reach the target episode count.
Another issue I had with the teleplay is that it is often predictable; choosing to go for tried-and-true slasher conventions, rather than covering much new or unexpected territory. That’s not to say that there aren’t a couple of surprises along the way but I was really hoping for a little more innovation and a little less retreading.
Although, there are some serious issues with the script, the performances from all the key players are very good. John Jarratt portrays Taylor with the usual sadistic sense of glee he brings to the character. And Lucy Fry is very impressive in her depiction of Eve. She brings the character to life in a way that audiences can relate to. She’s got a tough exterior but she shows hints of vulnerability when appropriate. Dustin Clare is great as Officer Sullivan Hill. He is stoic and compassionate in equal measure.
While I liked both Eve and Sullivan, I do have to admit that the hints at a connection between them felt unnatural and forced. It would have been better seeing them strictly as friends with no suggestion of any kind of romantic feelings between them.
As for the effects, the first episode is heavy with badly rendered CG. But things take a turn for the practical in the balance of the episodes. There is a fair amount of bloodshed by normal standards but it is fairly scarce compared to the frequency with which it occurs in either of the feature films.
I am a big fan of Wolf Creek and Wolf Creek 2 but I was pretty lukewarm on the series. As I said, I enjoyed the beginning and end but I really lost interest when it meandered in the middle. I would suggest that fans of the franchise give it a look at their own risk.
WICKED RATING: 4/10
Director(s): Greg McLean and Tony Tilse
Writer(s): Greg McLean, Peter Gawler, and Felicity Packard
Stars: Lucy Fry, John Jarratt, Dustin Clare, Deborah Mailman, Miranda Tapsell, Richard Cawthorne, Jake Ryan, and Jessica Tovey.
Release: DVD March 21, 2017
Studio/ Production Co: Stan Original Series, Emu Creek Pictures
Length: Six one-hour episodes