Wolf Creek Movie Poster Image

Wolf Creek

(i)

 

Throwback to '70s slasher movies isn't for kids.
  • Review Date: April 10, 2006
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 2005
  • Running Time: 95 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Kidnapping, torture, serial killing.

Violence

Once the kids are kidnapped, brutal, grim violence is relentless: by knife, rifle, beating, kicking, and an especially grotesque "" whereby the killer severs a girl's spine.

Sex

Mild kissing between two nice kids; brutal rape threat, pulling off clothes, and crotch fondling by killer.

Language

Cursing (multiple f-words, as well as derogatory slang).

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters smoke cigarettes and drink; victims are drugged.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie isn't for kids. It features gruesome (and, once it begins, relentless) violence implemented by knives, rifles, and brutal beatings. Characters drink and smoke cigarettes (at least until they are attacked by the killer); one couple kisses briefly. On the road, they use filthy gas station bathrooms. Girls scream, escape, fight back, and scream again. Alarming images include bloody faces, threats of rape, bound limbs, gags, blood smears on floors and walls, and a graphic description (with shadowy visual demonstration) of a torture method by which the killer severs a girl's spine but leaves her conscious (he calls it "head on a stick," and says it was practiced in the Vietnam war).

What's the story?

Based on "actual events," WOLF CREEK follows the harrowing adventures of 20-somethings Ben (Nathan Phillips), Liz (Cassandra Magrath), and Kristy (Kestie Morassi), who drive for days to reach to Wolf Creek, a meteor crater and hiking area in the Australian Outback. When their car breaks down, Mick (John Jarratt) emerges from the pitch-black night and offers a tow to his garage where he says he can fix their engine. Uneasy, they go along and try not to make fun of their "colorful" host. After an evening spent chatting by a campfire, Liz wakes to find herself tied, gagged, and bloodied in a shed, having been drugged and dragged from her friends. Meanwhile, Mick is torturing Kristy in another building. Now free, Liz finds a collection of snapshots and video footage of Mick's previous victims and realizes he's a demented serial killer. Far from civilization, Liz and Kristy can only run and fall, scream and drive, crash and scream some more.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

With a plot predictable by generic definition (it's a slasher movie), Wolf Creek's only context is other movies like it. The victims become monstrous to fight their abductor. The monster plods on, incessant, cruel, ordinary.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the random violence wreaked by an implacable, inexplicably cruel killer. This film takes up a "vintage" aesthetic, recalling low-budget, '70s horror films: what are the appeals of this look and associated class politics (middle class victims, underclass/demented/monstrous killers)? Families can also discuss what it means for a scary movie like this to be based on "actual" events. Do teens believe what they see really happened?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 25, 2005
DVD release date:April 11, 2006
Cast:Cassandra Magrath, John Jarratt, Kestie Morassi
Director:Greg McLean
Studio:Weinstein Co.
Genre:Horror
Run time:95 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:strong gruesome violence, and for language.

This review of Wolf Creek was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written bybluebellblu February 3, 2011

good

it's great but not for kids
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 14 years old Written byMrRaz0r21 July 30, 2014
Its very scary & gory
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 13 years old Written bycerealkiller189 February 3, 2012

Very gruesome and violent,just know that.

Everything a horror movie should have:suspense,lots of gore,thrills and chills.Like Albus Severus said,this can be disturbing due to the fact that this is a true story which may stop people visiting Australia for a while.I watched it in the Unrated edition when I was 7 and I got pretty disgusted at some parts.The killer severs a woman spine and cuts off her fingers,leaving her NOT dead,but paralyzed which can be painful to watch.A man is staked on a cross and he painfully pulls out the nails which is bloody.These are the two worst scenes in the movie.Others are strong and unflinching,but not as bad as these.Take EXTREME caution allowing kids to view this.
What other families should know
Too much violence

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Family Media Agreement