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Inspired in part by some unsolved murders in the Australian outback, and by the gruesome backpacker murders committed by Ivan Milat in NSW during the late 1980s/early 1990s, Wolf Creek tells the story of three young backpackers, Ben Mitchell, an Australian, and Liz Hunter and Kristy Earl, both English. Although the girls don't know Ben all that well, he and Liz fancy each other. After buying a car in Broome, situated in the far north coast of Western Australia, the trio head east with the intention of driving across the top end to Cairns (Queensland). At the end of their first day in the desert, their car breaks down at a deserted tourist site - the large crater of a meteorite. Later that night a truck arrives, driven by a real outback character, Mick Taylor. He tows them to his isolated camp at an abandoned mine site, promising to fix their car. All three tourists fall asleep after Mick drugs them. When Liz wakes up, she is bound and gagged and her friends are missing and the nightmare begins.
The Babadook and the Haunted Space between High and Low Genres in the Australian Horror TraditionJessica Balanzategui,
2017single work criticism — Appears in:
Studies in Australasian Cinema,vol.
12017;(p. 18-32)'The horror genre is a particularly fraught category in academic and mainstream critical discourse about Australian film genres. Australian horror films are often framed as either ‘Australian Gothic’ or ‘Ozploitation,’ terms that prioritise issues of national identity, class and taste rather than genre. The oppositional relationship of these terms presents an obstacle to the widespread acceptance – both scholarly and popular – of local horror films. This is illuminated by a comparison of two recent Australian horror releases and their domestic receptions, Wolf Creek 2 (McLean, Greg. 2014. Wolf Creek 2. Film. Adelaide: Duo Art Productions and Emu Creek Pictures) and The Babadook (Kent, Jennifer. 2014. The Babadook. Blu-Ray DVD. Melbourne: Umbrella Entertainment). Wolf Creek 2 was one of the most lucrative Australian films of 2014, however it was critically panned in large part due to its perceived commercialism and low-genre status. By contrast, The Babadook was the most critically praised Australian film of 2014, however the film received a limited domestic release. This paper explores how both The Babadook’s meagre domestic release and its near-universal critical praise can be related to its association with the high-art Australian Gothic tradition. Yet the film unsettles firmly entrenched art/genre, nationalism/commercialism dichotomies.' (Publication abstract)
Reel TimeStephen Fitzpatrick,
2012single work column — Appears in:
The Australian,12 September2012;(p. 17)'Fans of Australian author Andrew Masterson's crime/horror fiction will have been delighted this week by news that a film version of his award-winning "The Second Coming" is almost ready to be made. In the more traditional funding world, last week Screen Australia announced a $5.5 million investment in three feature film projects, including one by Rolf de Heer in which the veteran filmmaker will collaborate with David Gulpilil. Called "Charlie's Country", it describes itself as "an uplifting tragicomic portrait of one man's struggle to define himself as an Aboriginal in modern Australia". The others are "Predestination", a science fiction/crime thriller by writer-director brothers Michael and Peter Spierig (Daybreakers) and is based on a story by sci-fi author Robert A. Heinlein; and "Wolf Creek 2", by director Greg Mclean.' Stephen Fitzpatrick.