Roger Ebert in his review of Wolf Creek said, ” The theaters are crowded right now with wonderful, thrilling, funny, warm-hearted, dramatic, artistic, inspiring, entertaining movies. If anyone you know says this is the one they want to see, my advice is: Don’t know that person no more.”
I really do not care what Roger’s opinion of the film is, but I do take offence to him chastising people for wanting to see this movie and basically telling people to stay away from them. I mean come on… Really Roger? Repeat after your Uncle Dick Hollywood, “I will not defend my genre preference, I will not defend my genre preference, I will not defend my genre preference …” Some friends of mine have questioned my opinion and my affection for the Horror genre as of late, and I have decided not to defend myself anymore. Here are a few examples of what has transpired.
A few friends were over for drinks, snacks and games recently and one of them noticed “the Devil’s Rejects” DVD sitting on my CD/DVD rack and asked me why on earth would I have such an awful, sick movie, in my collection of films. I mentioned to her that I thought the film was really good, sick yes, but a really well made sick, twisted, and all around good flick. She looked at me kind of funny and asked me why on earth would I like “these kinds” of films. And of course she had never seen the flick. Well I tried to defend my opinion, but it fell on deaf ears.
Next my friend Ellora and I got into an argument on the merits of Horror and violent films in general. She said that she has never understood why I, such a warm and caring person (her words not mine), would like such horrific and violent films. I again tried to explain my position, but alas again to no avail, as my words fell on more deaf ears. And finally getting to the point, yes I do get to the point sometimes, my good friend and colleague as we all know as FilmJerk questioned me after the screening of “Wolf Creek” that we had just gotten out of and let me know that he has never understood why I like “these kind” of movies. He feels that they are exploitative and too voyeuristic. So I let FilmJerk know that I would not defend my genre preference anymore and that I am sick to death of people judging the Horror Genre and my tastes as well. It’s just a matter of taste and I really don’t care if you like them or not. Just let me enjoy my Horror Damn It!
And now Wolf Creek comes along and in my humble opinion is hands down the best darn Horror film I have seen so far this year, and one of the best Horror films to come along in many a full moon. No other film in recent memory has made me feel so uncomfortable or disturbed me more. (“The Devil’s Rejects” had some pretty disturbing imagery as well.) I walked away from this film with a sick feeling in my stomach and a mild anxiety attack to boot. Oh, and did I mention that I liked the film? As Gaspar Noe (Director of “I Stand Alone” and “Irreversible”) once said in an interview, “My films are like acid trips… Some viewers have a good trip and some have bad ones.” Not all films are meant to make us feel good and I did not feel very good after seeing this film, but I sure in the hell did feel something.
The story of three young travelers who have met and partied together on a beach in Australia, two girls from England whose holiday is almost over and a guy from Sydney. They decide to buy a car and go on a road trip into the Outback to camp at a crashed meteor sight known as Wolf Creek. The tension builds at an unrelenting slow pace, like a slow burning fuse on a stick of dynamite, as we get to know the three likable travellers. Well, when they finally arrive at the site it begins to rain, and the so-called special crater doesn’t seem so special anymore. A warm bed and some city lights now seem to be a better option. When their car doesn’t start in the middle of nowhere, they can only hope for someone to come along and help. Well, they get what they wish for, and help comes in the form of a Crocodile Dundee outback stereotype named Mick, who offers to tow them back to his place (the opposite direction in which they’re heading) where he can fix their car, or they can take their chances and hope that someone else will come along eventually and help them get on their merry way. They choose option number one. Wrong choice! What ensues next is not for the squeamish, faint of heart, anti-horror proponents, my mom (May she rest in peace), Roger Ebert, and my good friend FilmJerk. I was cringing during the last act of the film. The unrelenting eye of the camera would not let me look away during some of the most difficult scenes to I have yet witnessed. Not so much the gore, but the feeling of helplessness the director Greg McLean has created. This flick left me wiped out and speechless. It is one wild ride!
So, if you like your horror mean, nasty, gritty, sick and extremely disturbing, then go see this film right now. If not, then please don’t ask me when you see me on the street, why do you like these kinds of films? Because I will not defend my genre preference, I repeat, I will not defend my genre preference anymore.
So Says Dick Hollywood!