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Wolf Creek - John Jarratt, Cassandra Magrath, Nathan Phillips, Greg McLean

Threat advisory: Elevated - Significant risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

How can you be found when no one knows you're missing?

Wolf Creek begins with three backpackers heading into the isolated Australian outback. After several days of driving (marked by road-kill, a near bar fight, and spooky tales of local UFO sightings), they finally arrive at Wolf Creek National Park and set up camp. The following morning, while preparing to leave, they realise their watches don't work and their car won't start. As panic sets in, they notice strange lights heading straight for them and a friendly local offering help. This is where the real "fun" begins, and the trio must face one of the most frightening madmen in the history of film.

Based on the infamous Backpacker Murders committed along the Hume Highway by Ivan Milat between 1989 and 1992.

Theatrical propaganda posters

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Target demographic movie keyword propaganda

  • Film Australia horror true backpacker tourist serial killer murder crime kidnap outback

Persons of interest

  • John Jarratt .... Mick Taylor
  • Cassandra Magrath .... Liz Hunter
  • Andy McPhee .... Bazza
  • Kestie Morassi .... Kristy Earl
  • Guy Petersen .... Swedish Backpacker #1
  • Nathan Phillips .... Ben Mitchell
  • Gordon Poole .... Attendant
  • Jenny Starwall .... Swedish Backpacker #2
  • Aaron Sterns .... Bazza's Mate
  • Greg McLean .... Screenwriter
  • Greg McLean .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

Well, the best thing about Wolf Creek is that it's based on real Australian events. There's nothing quite like a good little Aussie outback serial backpacker torture killing spree. This country was built on good little Aussie outback serial backpacker torture killing sprees. They're what made this country great.

Ahem.

This analyst's black humour notwithstanding, Wolf Creek is both a historical document - one which should be included in school syllabi all over this sunburnt country - and a teen horror thriller. While it's not the scariest of teen horror thrillers, it does include some plenty scary and nasty bits. You won't guess who lives and who dies (this is Aussiewood, not Hollywood) which is a really good thing not least because you won't be able to make a spoof out of it (see Scary movie). Let alone a sequel (see Scary movie 2). Or another one (see Scary movie 3). As a historical document, Wolf Creek is as good as Japanese story in recording life in the new-millennium outback. Dry, dusty, deserted and, no matter how advanced our technology, a death-trap.

John Jarratt is lumbered with a somewhat impossible role: the serial killing psychopath. For all the profiling that's done on serial killers, no-one can understand them without being one. Getting inside their skin too often results in a slavering, slobbering maniac which belies the fact that all their neighbours think they're a nice quiet chap who never bothered anyone. John is a boisterous outback character yet is also somehow incredibly creepy. It's not until he lights of with the instruments of terror that you realise just how creepy.

Cassandra Magrath does a great impression of Keira Knightley from Pirates of the Caribbean, without the camp frocks and the derring-do, but it's Nathan Phillips as the local hottie and all-around wild boy who takes the prize. He is hot, he is sexy, he is sweet, he is funny, he is charismatic, he is going far. From Australian Rules to Under the radar to Wolf Creek, he just keeps on getting better. He was even good in You and your stupid mate, and that was a stinker! Watch out world!

Security censorship classification

R 18+ (High level realistic violence, strong coarse language)

Surveillance time

99 minutes (1:39 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 3 November 2005 - Later in the Northern Territory

Cinema surveillance images

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