Stan’s Wolf Creek
Season 2, Episode 5: “Shelter”
Directed by Geoff Bennett
Written by Shanti Gudgeon
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Singing” – click here
* For a recap & review of the Season 2 finale, “Return” – click here
Ah, the good ole days, back at the sprawling piece of land Mick (John Jarratt) owns in the Outback. He’s got Kelly (Laura Wheelwright) with him this time, all alone. Hand ties behind her back, legs chained up. Not going anywhere. But she works on trying to free her hands until they come loose. She gets hold of a rock right before Mick returns. She waits until the time is right, beaning him in the skull with the rock.
Problem is it only serves to piss him off.
The tourists have found their way to a mining facility. Becca (Tess Haubrich), Brian (Matt Day), Oskar (Julian Pulvermacher), and wounded Nina (Felicity Price) look to get inside. When they do they bump into a kid in a gas mask, riding a tricycle. His name is Danny. Coincidence, no? Becca’s husband Danny isn’t playing “hide and seek” the way the boy sees it. The boy’s dad Spence is there, as well; former pharmacist. He tries helping Nina, in lieu of antidote for the bite. But the woman’s going to lose her leg.
There are no communications going out, coming in, everything’s messed up. Spence can’t get it working, and Oskar is, of course, worried sick that his wife will die. A woman named Molly sets Becca up, telling her: “You‘re safe here.” I wouldn’t count on that. Not when Mick has found his way up to the mine.
“What if he‘s not hurting you?”
“Well he‘s gonna hurt somebody one day, he‘s a snake. That‘s why you have to kill him. That‘s what sticks are for.”
Oskar and Spence have a drink together, watch the cameras at various points in the mine. Spence laments about the loss of work, an accident out there in the “Big Nothing” when three men died. He says that the Wolf Creek crater puts ideas into peoples heads, how it “sings in the air, hums in the earth.” The Aboriginals told everyone it’s a bad place out there, but he rightly says nobody listened until the (white)men in suits and ties showed up. You always listen to the Indigenous people of an area when they tell you somewhere is no good! ALWAYS! Real life/horror movie rule #1.
Then Mick comes a-knocking. Spence answers the door, courteous, kind, offering a nip of liquor and unknowingly inviting in the serial killer. Becca and the others, they’re wholly clueless. She’s busy chatting with Brian more about her life. He tells her a bit of his own. They’re both busy waiting, and Nina’s wasting away, near comatose.
Spence downs shots with Mick, slamming them back like old pals. In a locker, Oskar hides. Spence tries talking with Mick, they go back and forth, about one thing or another. You know the madman knows his prey are there. It’s obvious. However, the old man’s not going to give up his own family, he’ll give up the others. No good. Mick kills everybody, including this fella with a pick axe to the head.
“You buy the ticket, you take the ride.”
Oskar slips out, as Mick leaves, and then he finds Brian. They’ve got to figure something out, quick. Becca’s trying to look after Nina, going for food. The serial killer looks around from room to room about the building, seeking his victims. This provides a tense moment when Becca goes poking around, finding Molly with her throat cut, blood everywhere, the young boy’s gas mask lying in a pool of it. If he killed the kid, that’s even more sinister than the evil shit he’s been doing thus far.
She pushes herself to go further into the dark halls, knife in hand. She’s got better composure than I. Wouldn’t be ten seconds down those halls with no light and I’d be pissing myself. Worse, though, she gets back to the room and Nina isn’t there anymore. Oh, shit. Luckily, she is with Oskar and Brian. They all find one another, locking themselves in a room.
Oskar says he can starts a truck with no keys, so him and Becca will make a run down there for it, get it ready to go, then get the other two. But they’ve got to make sure he can’t use the other truck to catch them once they make off in his truck. Near in the shadows Mick is stalking them, dragging the pick axe alongside him as he goes. Creepy bastard.
“Wind ‘em up and let ‘em go”
Around the mine, Mick chases Becca. She will not relent, fighting him every way she knows how, searching for anyone left alive. She finds Oskar again. Then they’ve got to put their only options into action. Oskar takes a bullet before he and Becca slow him momentarily. The whole gang gets back together, it’s time to go. Oskar and Nina will take one truck, Brian and Becca in the other.
Becca finds a map, she believes they’ll be able to locate where Mick is taking their friends, other victims. To stall, Brian talks to the serial killer, asking how he feels. The guy likes “this kinda shit.” It’s his thing, man. Can’t talk down a guy who’s a psychopath. Brian and Becca get out of there. The grim realisation is that Oskar and Nina aren’t going to get away. The former pair don’t know that Mick’s got them, so they think the old German couple are following behind.
Holy moly. Wolf Creek ups the ante just about every episode. Something new always crops up, even if it’s effectively an endless chase between predator and prey across the Outback. Exciting every step of the way.
“Return” is next, the finale of Season 2.