There seems to be a growing trend of horror films that attempt to be a throwback to the 1970’s, and Wolf Creek falls into that category. However, out of all of the films to come out in recent years, Wolf Creek is the only film that captures the raw and gritty atmosphere that the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre established, with its bleak visuals, vast landscapes, and shots that make the characters seem all the more helpless. Wolf Creek tells the story of three young people traveling across Australia. They drive up to Wolf Creek, which is supposedly the largest crater in the world. When they return back to their car, they discover that the car won’t start. After sitting in the car for a few hours, a truck pulls up and friendly Mick Taylor offers to fix their car for them, but he will have to tow them to his place, which is a bit of a drive. As Mick works throughout the night on their car, our three main characters fall asleep by the campfire. When they awaken, they find themselves bound and gagged inside of Mick’s basement. This is when they learn the true nature of Mick Taylor. The first portion of the film is shot entirely hand held, even including extreme zooms to make the viewer feel as if he is watching a home video of these three people. With the first thirty or so minutes, Greg McLean really tries to get the audience to like these characters, and there is no sign of this being a horror film, at all. The first sign doesn’t come until their car breaks down, then it’s a roller coaster ride from there. When we discover Liz tied up in a basement, things get far more gruesome as the film progresses into a bleak and intense journey into madness. Even with the remake of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, it didn’t capture the gritty and real feel that the original had. The remake looked far too polished and too much like Hollywood. It is easy to tell that Greg McLean is inspired by Tobe Hooper’s original film, and it makes this film all the more stronger. It seems as if there is a new trend of horror films to try and maintain a 70’s type feel, with such films as High Tension, Cabin Fever, The Devil’s Rejects, etc. However, this is a trend that isn’t getting old. Horror films are not meant to be pretty and easy to watch. If you think that, then Cry Wolf is probably something that you would enjoy. Horror films are violent and nasty and should assault the viewer’s senses and open up their eyes. There is an ugly world out there, and horror films are simply showing us just how insane things can be, and that’s one of the reasons that Wolf Creek works as well as it does. It doesn’t sugarcoat anything. Wolf Creek is vile and violent. There may be a line that some viewers will go when it comes to horror films, however I wouldn’t say that Wolf Creek crosses any lines. I have a feeling that Eli Roth’s Hostel will take the viewers even further than this film does. The last half of Wolf Creek is violent and intense, however it’s not the gore fest I was expecting. I think the one thing that let me down was the “head on a stick” scene I had been hearing about. Unfortunately, this scene was not nearly as violent as it could have been, although that may have just pushed it into gratuitous violence. However, what happens to the victim before is definitely intense to watch. Wolf Creek focuses more on the chase than it does the violence. The killer uses a gun during part of the film, and guns have always seemed like a wrong thing to put into a horror film, however with Wolf Creek, the raw intensity of it carries the tension, the gore would have been over the top. If you want to see a gory violent film, High Tension has more gore, however Wolf Creek does have enough brutality to make the viewer think that it’s a bit more gory. Overall, I highly recommend you checking out Wolf Creek. It’s a horror film that remains true to its nature and knows that horror films are not supposed to be pretty, unless directed by Dario Argento. Wolf Creek is definitely the right way to close out 2005. Now, let’s see how well Hostel ushers in 2006. I give Wolf Creek a 9 out of 10.