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It takes time to credibly recreate evil (and not repeat yourself), Greg McLean tells Andrew L. Urban, after completing Wolf Creek 2 some nine years after the original film was released. 

Greg McLean is speaking by phone from Los Angeles, his day scheduled to do interviews with Australian media before Wolf Creek 2 is released for public consumption. It’s got an MA15+ rating, but not before two minutes of “prolonged and intense gore” as McLean puts it, were edited out to claw the rating back from an R18+.

“We always wanted an MA rating,” he says, “because we want the film to reach the widest possible audience. It’s more an action horror film than a straight horror,” he adds, although some might still call it ‘torture porn’. “Not if they see the film,” says McLean. 

“I didn’t want to make the same film again, and that’s one reason we took so long ... we put a lot of thought and research into it. We did a lot of thinking about motivation: if you look throughout history people do great evil but they rationalise things. And they don’t need a lot to dehumanise their victims and to then treat them in appalling ways.”

"xenophobic obsession"

In Wolf Creek 2, Mick Taylor (John Jarratt again) reveals his xenophobic obsession. “The core of his xenophobia is against the English, like a long standing grudge…” But Mick is not too selective: any foreign tourist is a potential target. His smarmy-charmy ocker nature flares into rage when his beloved Australia is invaded by ugly foreigners. 

It wasn’t just McLean and co-writer Aaron Sterns’ imagination that generated the ideas for the story, it was a lot of material in jailed serial killer Ivan Milat’s file, among others. “It’s not based on any one case or any one serial killer,” says McLean, “but we have taken elements from real cases. It’s not a documentary, but we used real case histories to prompt us.”

The Australian landscape is another major character in the film, with cinematographer Toby Oliver delivering the goods. “We use the landscape to comment on the atmosphere of the moment,” McLean explains, “and by using widescreen we can position the characters in the frame in a meaningful way.”

One advantage of the long gestation process was that it made the production enjoyable; everything had been planned, the shots story boarded. “It was a real blast making it,” says McLean, who is ready to make Wolf Creek 3 – if the public demand is there.

Greg McLean (right) onset with John Jarratt

Published February 20, 2014

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Greg McLean

WOLF CREEK 2 (2014)


Greg McLean - in Cannes 2005
Greg McLean - interview 2005

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