Trailer: Wolf Creek 2
The outback once more becomes a place of horror as another unwitting tourist becomes the prey for crazed, serial-killing pig-shooter Mick Taylor.PT2M11S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2zv3t 620 349 December 24, 2013
Wolf Creek 2 writer-director Greg McLean has slammed Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton for failing to support local productions, after the ABC duo decided against reviewing his horror sequel on Tuesday’s At the Movies.
Despite the film hitting the top spot at the Aussie box office on its debut last weekend, the pair gave it a wide berth, presumably on grounds of taste, following past criticisms of original's extreme violence. The pair chose to review Lone Survivor, Non-Stop, Gloria and The Wind Rises instead.
In an emailed response to Fairfax Media, McLean said: "Seriously, what on earth are they thinking? Simply not reviewing an independent Aussie movie that beat its US studio competitor Lone Survivor ... is worth paying some attention."
Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton's failure to review Wolf Creek 2 on At the Movies raises eyebrows.
He added that Lone Survivor, the Mark Wahlberg war epic, cost $80 million to produce and market and featured on about 15 per cent more screens.
"Even if they didn’t enjoy the movie, there are many, many Wolf Creek fans out there who love horror and thriller movies and want to support locally made productions," he said.
"Like them, I’d love to hear their thoughts on our movie, whatever they might be. I really hope they reconsider and give Wolf Creek 2 the fair go it deserves."
Director Greg McLean, right, with actor Ryan Corr on the set of Wolf Creek 2.
The At the Movies website does carry a four-minute Wolf Creek 2 report, with clips and interviews with McLean and star John Jarrett, but neither Pomeranz, Stratton or in fact any reporter make an appearance.
Incredulous fans have taken to Twitter to question the TV show's absent review, with one person asking: "I don't understand, as critics, [how] they can choose not to cover an Oz (sic) box office #1."
A Twitter response from @abcatthemovies merely said: "They didn't want to review it - totally their decision."
McLean also questioned the move on Twitter, saying: "Apparently there's a new category of movie review from David and Margaret called - no review at all! That's gotta be a first, right?"
He added that he did want a review from them: "Kinda fun watching them rip a movie apart or gush over something ... either would be fine. Curious really."
Stratton wrote a scathing review of the film in The Australian just days ago, calling it "manipulative and ugly" and only gave it two out of five stars.
He also noted in his review that "this is not the place to discuss the worldwide appeal of torture-porn and extreme screen violence".
In their 2005 At the Movies review of Wolf Creek, both critics gave the film four stars but expressed concern over the level of violence.
"The film is incredibly sadistic. I think it's foul in some ways, in terms of violence. I think it really is thoroughly nasty," Stratton said at the time.
Pomeranz responded that it was a "worry", while Stratton added: "I think people and audiences, potential audiences, have to be warned about it."
@_LauraMcLeod They didn't want to review it - totally their decision.— At The Movies (@abcatthemovies) February 25, 2014
Apparently there's a new category of movie review from David and Margaret called - no review at all! That's gotta be a first, right?— Greg Mclean (@GregECP) February 25, 2014
@AaronSterns Actually I really do! Kinda fun watching them rip a movie apart or gush over something...either would be fine. Curious really.— Greg Mclean (@GregECP) February 25, 2014
Why did Margaret and David "choose not to review wolf creek 2"? #AtTheMovies— kate langbroek (@katelangbroek) February 25, 2014
The MA15+-rated Wolf Creek 2 was the top draw at the Aussie box-office on its debut last weekend, pulling in $1.681 million.
In the past Stratton has refused to review 1992 skinhead drama Romper Stomper, causing its director Geoffrey Wright to throw a glass of wine over him nearly three years later at the Venice Film Festival. Stratton later said he feared the film could "stir up racial violence".
At the Movies executive producer said Jo Chichester said in a statement: "Margaret and David reviewed the first Wolf Creek, David’s thoughts on Wolf Creek 2 are in his review in The Australian, and there is an interview with the filmmaker and lead actor on the ATM website."
What Fairfax film reviewers thought of Wolf Creek 2:
Paul Byrnes gives four stars: As brutal and unforgiving as the first movie was, and as disreputable the genre in which it excelled, the original Wolf Creek did what an Australian film is supposed to do. It held up a mirror and not one that was part of the official story. It wasn't comforting, which might explain why Jarratt was overlooked in the national film awards that year for the best performance of his long career.
The sequel, eight years later, expands upon the same themes. It is bigger and louder and just as bloody, but Mick says a lot more this time around, most of it unrepeatable.
Ed Gibbs gives two stars: As Taylor, Jarratt is jovial to the point of absurdity, leaving you yearning for that terrifying persona of yore. His Mick Taylor did indeed become an iconic horror figure of sorts, and uniquely Australian, as McLean has rightly noted. But seen again, for only the second time in almost a decade, he has been oddly reduced to a caricature.
Jake Wilson gives three and a half stars:
As often happens with horror sequels, there's a gain in showmanship and a loss in raw intensity. Blood flows freely, but nothing matches the queasiness of the original's famous ''head on a stick'' scene, and Mick's sexual urges are (thankfully, some might think) more proclaimed than visibly indulged.
There are moments when the film feels like a burlesque of its predecessor, or at least a mocking commentary, teasing out some of the factors that led to a hit.