Australian Tourist Slasher

Wolf Creek sees the birth of Mick Taylor (John Jarratt), the sadistic Australian bushman who terrorizes and assaults hapless tourists visiting the Outback. Director Greg McLean delivers one of the nastier and more subversive horror tales of the 2000s. Three young backpackers find themselves up against a deranged killer in a desperate game of survival. Unflinching and brutal, Wolf Creek’s devastating terror spawned a whole franchise which includes the excellent Wolf Creek 2 and a television mini-series.

Loosely inspired by Ivan Milat’s gruesome murders in the 1990s, Wolf Creek serves as a cautionary tale wrapped within its pulse-pounding thrills and taut suspense. Twenty-something backpacker Ben (Nathan Phillips) and his traveling companions Kristy (Kestie Morassi) and Liz (Cassandra Magrath) are crossing Australia when they wander off into the desolate Wolf Creek National Park. After their car breaks down, good ol’ Mick Taylor shows up to lend them a helping hand with decidedly horrifying results.

Roger Ebert notoriously despised Wolf Creek

Viscerally graphic in tone with some outrageously gory scenes, the slick screenplay begins as a slow burn before turning into pure torture porn. Wolf Creek builds up its three likable protagonists and their relationships before throwing them into the proverbial fire.

The carefree tourists are relaxing on vacation, enjoying the natural splendor of Australia’s scenery. But once Mick hits the screen there’s a wired charisma oozing from Jarratt’s off-kilter portrayal which marks the killer as one of cinema’s best horror characters, a real landmark for post-2000 slashers. The searing intensity of the situation becomes more and more hopeless in the foreboding isolation of the Australian Outback. There’s no civilized help coming to save you and your friends when alone in the middle of nowhere.

McLean knows his way around the usual torture porn tropes as he assembles an effective cat-and-mouse chase with our intrepid backpackers, taking a page from Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The real star of the show is Mick Taylor, a twisted fun house version of Paul Hogan’s lovable Mick Dundee from Crocodile Dundee. Killing for fun with a deranged sense of humor, the ruthless villain has starpower.

Roger Ebert notoriously despised Wolf Creek, which is a great contrarian recommendation for real genre fans happy with a little gore and blood. Siskel and Ebert often hated harder and more graphic fare in their film reviews. The famous critics’ opinions were rarely reliable for R-rated horror. They just never got the sheer helplessness and unrelenting brutality often depicted in films such as Wolf Creek. Their loss but surely our gain.


Wolf Creek visually holds up quite well for a 2005 production shot on early digital cameras and then blown up to 35mm film for its presumed 2K digital intermediate. With crisp picture quality for both cuts, this is an unqualified massive upgrade over earlier discs.

ViaVision provides each separate cut of the movie on its own BD-50, generously bumping up the AVC parameters for top-notch video encodes. Outside of a little ISO noise, the panoramic cinematography is a real highlight in 1080p. Each cut receives nearly identical transfers, unfiltered jobs technically done with precision. The old Dimension Films logo runs before the movie and it appears ViaVision licensed these HD transfers from Lionsgate.

Boasting excellent definition and often razor-sharp detail, every bloody death is shown in vivid clarity. An even contrast and realistic flesh-tones are backed with respectable black levels. Shadow delineation is average, maybe revealing the limitations of the film’s cameras. Wolf Creek is a real looker at times with Australia’s rugged locations serving as the backdrop.

While falling a tad short of videophile eye candy, Wolf Creek’s video quality on Blu-ray is a cut above.


ViaVision provides 5.1 DTS-HD MA audio for the theatrical cut and 2.0 PCM stereo for the longer unrated cut. A surround track is available for Wolf Creek’s unrated cut if you hunt down the region-locked German BD. Lush dynamics and clean separation offer big sound for the indie horror movie. Expect to get terrorized in every direction as Mick relentlessly tracks down his prey.

Outside of a little questionable dialogue clarity mostly thanks to thick Australian accents, Wolf Creek offers strong sonic quality. The car chases and explosions fill a deep soundstage with discrete activity and rock-solid bass.

Optional English SDH subtitles play in a white font.


ViaVision out of Australia gives us both the R-rated theatrical cut and gorier unrated cut in a two-disc Blu-ray set. Arriving in a slipcase, they’ve collected most every special feature previously available for Wolf Creek. This is a nice release for fans who have been patiently waiting for a region-free Blu-ray edition and is now the most complete Hi-def release available worldwide.

There’s nothing particularly new here for hardcore fans but many have wanted a package like this since Weinstein issued Wolf Creek in North America many years ago on HD DVD without an equivalent BD. Some feel the unrated cut is unnecessary, a marketing creation by distributors which adds two bits of extra gore for several minutes of mostly useless padding.

Wolf Creek Theatrical Cut (98:51 in HD; 5.1 DTS-HD MA): Disc 1

Wolf Creek Unrated Cut (104:27 in HD; 2.0 PCM): Disc 2

Audio Commentary with Director Greg McLean, Producer Matt Hearn, & Actresses Cassandra Magrath and Kestie Morassi

The Making Of Wolf Creek Documentary (51:51 in HD) – A well-constructed dive into the film which explores the production from every angle.

Deleted Scenes (06:13 in HD) – Three scenes

Meet Mick Taylor: An Interview with John Jarratt (21:49 in HD) – A mildly rambling interview given by the star explaining how he got the job and his approach to the character.

Photo Gallery (03:41 in HD)

Broken & Twisted Music Clip by Auxillary One (05:00 in HD)

Storyboard & Production Sketch Montage (03:09 in HD)

Wolf Creek Theatrical Trailer 1 (02:14 in HD)

Wolf Creek Theatrical Trailer 2 (01:45 in HD)

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided by the label for review. This has not materially affected DoBlu’s editorial process. For information on how we handle all review material, please visit DoBlu’s about us page.

Wolf Creek
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras


A cult gem from Australia which introduces the ever lovable and sadistic Mick Taylor, one of Australia’s great horror icons

User Review
3 (1 vote)

The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 42 full resolution, uncompressed HD screen shots ripped directly from the Blu-ray:

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