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Thursday, December 22, 2005

CHEESE CRATER

Posted on Thu, Dec 22, 2005 at 4:00 AM

*
Wolf Creek
Studio: The Weinstein Company
Rated: R
Website: http://www.wolfcreekthemovie.com/
Release Date: 2005-12-23
Cast: Cassandra Magrath, John Jarret, Kestie Morassi, Nathan Phillips, Andy McPhee
Director: Greg McLean
Screenwriter: Greg McLean
WorkNameSort: Wolf Creek
Our Rating: 1.00

Already off to an ignominious start with the disappointing Derailed, The Weinstein Co. hits rock bottom – let's hope – by subjecting us to Australian import Wolf Creek, a loathsome low-budget thriller that's only distinguished by its ability to juggle grotesque sadism and stultifying boredom.

In the "story," two British twits and one Sydney studmuffin set out to visit a meteor crater that's one of Australia's biggest natural wonders. Just getting there takes 50 minutes of screen time, with writer/director Greg McLean hammering the "reality" angle so hard that you wonder if he's attempting to float some sort of Down Under Blair Witch Project (as if there's a call for such a thing). But it isn't until two of the sightseers steal a kiss – it's the guy and one of the girls, extinguishing the chance for some genuine excitement – that things begin to go awry. Their car mysteriously falls dead, leaving them to the mercy of whatever stranger – Good Samaritan or amoral predator? – might be cruising the outback under cover of darkness.

Let's rule out the "Samaritan" answer and get right to the reasons no sane person should stick around for the last 50 minutes of this horrible picture: Attempted rape. Crucifixion. A dagger to the spinal column. And all of it committed by that hoariest of clichés, the psycho killer who continues to talk calmly to his victims even as they're collapsing in sobs while begging for his nonexistent mercy. Oooh, edgy. McLean's sick torture fantasy is in many ways a cousin to the reprehensible French shocker High Tension, except that one didn't wait nearly an hour to go about turning your stomach.

Based on a true story. As if that means anything.

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