A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Wolf Creek is an Australian horror series spun off from the movies of the same name -- and like the films, it isn't intended for kids. The series features copious, gory violence with gruesome shots of dead bodies and disemboweling, of humans and animals alike. Children are murdered and piled atop their dead parents, then dismembered with a chainsaw. Weapons like hunting knives, spears, pistols, rifles, fire, and even snake venom are used. A crocodile attacks a child and is shot dead, rabbits and kangaroos are hunted and killed. Characters smoke and drink, a bag of weed is confiscated from a character's vehicle. Women are threatened with rape and tortured. There's full frontal male nudity. Some racial stereotyping occurs with a "magical aborigine" character.
What's the story?
WOLF CREEK is an anthology-style TV series that serves as the latest iteration of the Australian horror franchise that kicked off with two feature films of the same name (Wolf Creek and Wolf Creek 2). The inaugural season follows former track star and recovering painkiller addict Eve Thorogood (Lucy Fry) as she and her family explore the outback via RV, a last-ditch effort at bonding and father/daughter reconciliation. After a harrowing experience with a hungry crocodile, their paths soon cross with Mick Taylor (John Jarratt), the same viciously nasty serial killer featured in the Wolf Creek films. He makes quick work of slaughtering Eve's parents and little brother, and mistakenly leaves her seriously wounded but still alive -- an oversight he may come to regret, as Eve is determined to spend the rest of her days unearthing his secrets and avenging her family.
Is it any good?
The series is true to the films all right: a tired string of boilerplate slasher movie clichés enacted by a single-minded, near-supernatural serial killer whose greatest sin might be how boring he is. Same old backstory (abusive, drunken parents and a childhood curiosity about killing), same old dumb quips as he's taking out his victims. Despite some attractive cinematography -- it's hard to make the sweeping, desolate landscapes of Australia look bad -- and committed performances, the story itself is wafer-thin and brings nothing new to the table. Suspension of belief is one thing, but the ridiculous way all the characters behave (if this series is to be believed, Australia has perhaps the least effective police force on the planet) just takes things to whole new levels of silliness. Recommended for diehard Wolf Creek completists only.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Wolf Creek's violence. How did it affect you? Did it make you feel excited or queasy? What other kinds of violence have you seen on television, and how does it compare? Which kind has the biggest impact?
What did you think of Eve's journey from sullen, recovering addict to empowered revenge-seeker? Was it realistic? Do you think the methods she employed to avenge her family's deaths were justified?
For kids who love scary stuff
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.