Premiering this week on SVOD service STAN is the six-part series based on the Wolf Creek movies. And its an adaptation that makes good on a commitment to locally made content by the video-on-demand provider.
Serial killer Mick Taylor (John Jarrett) is back for the TV version of the movies, but this is no cheap knock off of those truly terrifying flicks. And it’s probably not what you’d expect either.
Years have passed since the events of the second movie and Mick is still the deadly predator of the Aussie outback. He picks off tourists with as much thought as we’d give to swatting a fly.
Until he runs into the Thorogood family in the Northern Territory and things don’t go according to his plan – although he doesn’t yet know it.
The Thorogood’s are from Nebraska, traveling across the top end and helping their eldest child recover from an addiction to painkillers.
Mom and dad are cops and their son is brought along for the holiday of a lifetime – and then they run into Mick, who appears just in time to save their son from a croc attack.
And as soon as you hear ‘that’ laugh, you know things aren’t going to end well. With efficient ruthlessness, Mick kills three family members, but unwittingly leaves daughter Eve (Lucy Fry) alive.
All this before the opening credits roll.
As Eve recovers from her injuries, she realises her family’s death may not be the first at the hands of the man ‘with the blue truck’. The Northern Territory police have a stack of Missing Person’s files – all tourists holidaying in WA, NT and QLD.
Fearing police will have no better luck in tracking him down, Eve vows to avenge her family.
“I promise you, I will find him. I will find him and make him pay”.
The hunter is now the hunted.
Wolf Creek the series is a very different beast to the two previous movies. It shares the same DNA, but has its own identity. It’s more psychological thriller than a ‘slasher’ series.
This is not the 'Mick Taylor Story' on the small screen. He is the reason for it being, but ultimately it’s a story of revenge.
It’s beautifully filmed with cinematography usually reserved for the ‘Big Screen’. It clearly has an eye on the overseas market with some Aussie stereotypes (kangaroos, crocodiles and a Crocodile Dundee reference), but it is very much an Aussie yarn.
As you’d expect, Jarrett dominates when he’s on screen. A black and white scene of him dancing in a barn is truly terrifying. There’s no blood and there’s no gore. Just Taylor dancing to his own tune in a shed full of his trophies.
It’s chilling and unforgettable.
24-year-old Lucy Fry is very, very good as Eve. She has an onscreen maturity beyond her years and it’ll be interesting to see how she develops over the course of the series. It’ll also be interesting to see how she plays against Jarratt.
Wolf Creek premieres Thursday May 12 with all six episodes available to stream on Stan.
Tommow on DeciderTV - Interviews with John Jarrett and Lucy Fry
Nikole Gunn has been a watcher of TV since the 70s. A writer of words since the 80s. A reader of the news since the 90s; mostly on Triple M, Nova and Gold.
Twitter - @NikoleGunn