American teenager Eve Thorogood (Lucy Fry) travels to Northern Australia for a holiday with her family, as she tries to overcome addiction and rebuild her life. After crossing paths with native Mick Taylor (John Jarratt), the family spend an evening with him that ends in tragedy as he murders them. Unbeknownst to Mick, he didn’t manage to finish the job leaving Eve wounded but alive. In hospital Eve meets Sergeant Hill (Dustin Clare), who promises to find Mick and bring him to justice, but Eve launches her own mission of revenge.
Wolf Creek has previously enjoyed two successful outings on the big screen. When it was first announced that the movie franchise was coming to the small screen, I was a little sceptical. How could sadistic killer Mick Taylor hold his own over a 6-part TV series without it feeling a little hokey or stretched out?
The first episode of the season is strong delivering plenty of shocks, horror and drama setting things up nicely. Surprisingly it doesn’t fall to pieces and what ensues is a multi-layered story about a girl who will stop at nothing to avenge the murder of her family. A cat-and-mouse dynamic is quickly established between Eve and Mick as they hunt each other across Northern Australia.
While the main focus of the show is Eve’s attempt to serve up her take on justice to Mick, there are plenty of other storylines and characters that carry through the 6 episodes. As Eve embarks on her quest she meets friends and foes, and finds herself caught up in dangerous situations as she tracks down Mick. The series feels tight and it doesn’t waste a moment with filler, developing its story masterfully.
At the centre of it all is Lucy Fry. The Australian actress sports a very dodgy American accent but aside from that she’s very good as Eve. She fleshes the character out well and she gets you on side early on. Often with horror franchises, the audience roots for the killer but in this case I was definitely on Eve’s side. John Jarratt is ever reliable as sadistic killer Mick Taylor and for the first time the character actually does get a bit of development.
Also worthy of a mention is Dustin Clare as Sergeant Hill. He gets thrown into the middle of Eve’s revenge mission and spends a lot of the series trying to keep her safe. He provides a nice middle ground between Eve and Mick, giving the series a bit of a balance.
Special features on the Blu-ray release include a series of behind-the-scenes featurettes exploring the making of the show and how it was adapted for television.
Wolf Creek: The Complete First Series is a surprising triumph that sits proudly alongside the superb first movie. It’s better than the under-performing sequel and it remains to be seen if the show will get another small screen outing. Whether it does or not, this 6-episode series is gripping stuff that is definitely one of the best surprise hits of the year.
Cast: Lucy Fry, John Jarratt, Dustin Clare Certificate: 18 Duration: 292 mins Released By: Eureka Entertainment Release Date: 10th October 2016