Wolf Creek is a 2005 Australian horror thriller film written, co-produced, and directed by Greg McLean and starring John Jarratt, Nathan Phillips, Cassandra Magrath, and Kestie Morassi. Its plot concerns three backpackers who find themselves taken captive and subsequently hunted by Mick Taylor, a deranged psychopathic xenophobic killer, in the Australian outback. The film was ambiguously marketed as being "based on true events," while its plot bore elements reminiscent of the real-life murders of backpackers by Ivan Milat in the 1990s and Bradley Murdoch in 2001, both of which McLean used as inspiration for the screenplay.
Produced on a $1.1 million budget, filming of Wolf Creek took place in South Australia; the film was shot almost exclusively on high-definition video. It had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2005. It was given a theatrical release in Ireland and the United Kingdom in September 2005, followed by a general Australian release in November, apart from the Northern Territory, out of respect for the pending trial surrounding the murder of Peter Falconio. In the United States and Canada, it was released on Christmas Day 2005, distributed by Dimension Films.
Wolf Creek received varied reviews from film critics, with several, such as Roger Ebert and Manohla Dargis, criticizing it for its realistic and unrelenting depictions of violence.[i] Other publications, such as Variety and Time Out, praised the film's grindhouse aesthetics, with the latter calling its straightforward depiction of crime and violence "taboo-breaking." The film was nominated for seven Australian Film Institute awards, including Best Director (for McLean). In 2010, it was included in Slant Magazine's list of the 100 best films of the decade.
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