Stan’s Wolf Creek
Season 2, Episode 1: “Journey”
Directed by Greg McLean
Written by Nick Parsons
* For a recap & review of the Season 1 finale, “Wolf Creek” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Outback” – click here
Once again, we find Mick Taylor (John Jarratt) alive and well in the Outback. He only “got delayed” by his run in with the American girl in Season 1. Bit late getting out for the year. He’s at Tommy’s (Chris Haywood) gun shop loading up, y’know. Seems people are finally catching wind of all the horrible things happening in Mick’s neck of the woods. Bit of police heat after all this time, catching up with the old serial killer. Could put a snag in his plans. Or maybe it’ll just make him craftier. He’s got himself a new rifle, anyway; after murdering poor Tommy.
“No news is good news”
A killer beginning for Wolf Creek’s Season 2, promising everything we love so much about the series and the films already. Can’t wait to see what Greg McLean and Co. have in store for us this year.
Rebecca (Tess Haubrich) and Danny (Charlie Clausen) are tourists. They’re on a bus with a bunch of other people wanting to get a look at the “majestic Australian Outback.” As close as a bus can get you, I suppose. There are lots of tourists, like perpetually single Richie (Stephen Hunter), “internet famous” Wade (Elijah Williams), and more. The tour guide/bus driver is a man named Ian Davidson (Ben Oxenbould) a.k.a Davo, he’ll show them a fun time, and he looks of a man who can handle himself. Few colourful characters already. Looks promising.
And we can see where it’s all headed, can’t we?
Things start out well enough. Everybody’s loaded on the bus, they’re off on their big Outback adventure. Rebecca and Danny talk with a man called Brian across the aisle (Matt Day), a random traveller, so he says; claims he is a forensic psychiatrist, too. Not sure I believe it, though. Funny enough, Becca is a geneticist. At the back of the bus, partners Steve (Jason Chong) and Johnny (Adam Fiorentino) talk to two Canadian girls – “sophisticated Americans with health coverage” – Michelle (Elsa Cocquerel) and Kelly (Laura Wheelwright). One big, happy tour bus family.
Note: Awesome soundtrack picks already this season, including “April Sun in Cuba” by Dragon.
However, none of these people realise the dangers lurking in the Outback, of which poisonous fauna are the least of their worries.
The tour bus stops for the night. Davo turns in early, letting everyone know about the snakes, all those little dangers to keep an eye on. Most of the others head to bed, as well. Becca and Brian stay up and chat by the fire, it’s clear the former is having marital issues, and the latter is divorced. Becca and Danny are having problems because of her entrepreneurial spirit, her startup taking up most of her time. Soon enough, they also get to sleep. Not before the married couple notice strange lights flashing in the sky. These are called the Min Min lights. Davo also tells his passengers there’s a comet set to head over the area during the night, they’re going to have a big cookout under the stars.
The bus stops to gas up, take a break. Davo has a beer inside. Then Mick sits down across from him, being crude, as usual. He uses some nasty lingo, from racial epithets to gay slurs. The whole kit. He goes on about scaring tourists, and Davo humours him, just trying not to be rude. Mick reckons he could be a tour guide. Show ’em something really wild, eh? Of course, doesn’t take long for the killer to get offended: “Hey, mate. Get fucked. No offence.” A genuinely chilling scene, especially considering that signature way Mick toys with people. And you can see Davo knows that this man is ominous. That tour bus is, essentially, a one-stop shop for a murderer, and what better place than to catch them in the deep heart of the Outback.
Everybody hangs out together that night, drinking, few tokes of weed, all that good stuff. They’re all having fun, getting to know each other better. Kelly’s clearly got serious feelings for her friend Michelle, whereas Michelle is getting close with Wade, and young Emma (Josephine Langford) is enjoying a bit more of adulthood than she’s experienced to date. Becca and Danny drink around the fire with others. Davo plays DJ on the boom box; more good music with “Tainted Love” from Gloria Jones.
They’re all enjoying the comets overhead, passing by the area. A beautiful moment for them all to share. Michelle and Kelly are at odds over the unrequited love. Becca and Danny go for some sex in the woods. Just one exciting night, all around. A little later Davo notices bus problems, an oil leak. Strange for it to happen so suddenly, and this strikes some of the passengers like Richie strange. Others just assume it’s no big deal. Just by the look in Davo’s eyes, we see his concern.
The bus heads out regardless. Along the road Davo stops into a half rundown roadhouse, his passengers asleep. He goes in for a shit. It’s there he encounters Mick again. And a brutal encounter it is, indeed. The tour guide is dead, so that leaves Mr. Taylor in command of the bus.
When the passengers wake in the morning, they find Davo is gone. In place is friendly Outback guide Mick, at their service, leading them to a definite horrorshow somewhere in the wilderness.
Holy christ. Wasn’t sure about the tour bus premise, then it really took things up a notch on the terror, particularly there at the end. Love Wolf Creek. Season 2 is turning out even better than the first season in just a single episode; and I loved that first season to death!
“Outback” is next. Be prepared.