Wolf Creek TV Mini-Series Season 2 (2018)
“I like this shit!”
So says outback serial mass murderer Mick Taylor as played by the phenomenal John Jarratt in season two of Stan’s Wolf Creek … please note that Stan is a TV channel, not some random bloke … While the statement is directed by Mick to a hapless witness to Mick’s midnight madness, it could well be said by any lover of the Wolf Creek killerverse, someone like me.
For those unfamiliar with Wolf Creek or Greg McLean … When he is firing on all cylinders his horror movies (Wolf Creek, Rogue, and The Belko Experiment) are a mixture of relentless thrills and shockingly grim violence. He likes it grim, does our Greg. Suffice to say, it’s not for everyone.
The first Wolf Creek movie (2005) was the very definition of all the above while, for me, the second movie (2013) seemed like more of the same leading to less impact overall. What I felt the the movie needed was not simply more Mick Taylor but more about him.
Season One of Wolf Creek the TV Series (2016) delivered exactly what I’d been hankering for diving deep into Mick’s past and bringing it crashing into the present. I frikkin’ loved the first season. So what of season two? Would it repeat the pattern of the cinematic sequel?
While there is no great attempt to dive deeper into Mick Taylor’s past in season two, this doesn’t make the second season any less exciting than the first. While season one was the story of one victim seeking out the killer of her parents and sibling, season two pits Mick against a mixed bunch of international tourists on a bus tour of the outback. Unlike many horror movies that fill a bus with teenagers this tour bus has all ages included, offering us a cross section of society that seems as diverse as the world I live in.
Season two is firmly focused in the present moment as the lives of the tourists spirals into utter madness. While it might seem that without more back-story this season could only be more of the same brutality two story choices determine otherwise. Firstly, the tourists on the bus are well crafted as people, not cardboard cut-outs, and as we focus solely on their story we get to care about them. Secondly, we know from the start what they come to understand. They are stranded in Mick’s world and that is definitively a world of pain.
Season two avoids the mundane kill by numbers roll call of slasher movies because the writers mold the unfolding events to the reality of Mick Taylor’s universe. He’s in no hurry, there’s no cavalry coming, and he’s enjoying himself. Knowing Mick as we do this makes season two nail-biting from the opening scene to the last (after credits) sequence right at the end of the final episode.
For me the acting across the board is top-notch with all the characters coming across as fully fleshed out people facing a truly monstrous human or human monster, whichever you prefer.
On a related note, as a devotee of all things Wolf Creek, I demand a third season instead of a movie. Season two offers seductive glimpses of a deeper rationale at play for Mick and I would love the wider canvas that a third season could offer to make this happen. Whether a third season ends Mick’s story or merely set up the forth and final season is fine with me but the story can’t end here.
The TV series of Wolf Creek Season 2 could conceivably be watched before Season One as they focus on two totally different stories. For those wishing to dip their toes in a smaller pool of blood, start with the movies.
Two word review: Bloody Tourists!