To surpass the original, sequels must avoid repeating events and themes covered in the original. This is easier with certain genres, like action (Lethal Weapon 2 and The Road Warrior being representative examples), than others, like horror. Such is the problem with Wolf Creek 2.
Antipodean assassin Mick Taylor (John Jarratt) picks up where he left off, executing two uncooperative cops before moving on to a couple of obnoxious German hitchhikers and others, sarcastically taunting his victims all the while. No longer “loosely based on true events,” as in the first movie, and now showcasing Taylor’s peculiar xenophobia — he only kills foreign travelers, and plays a sadistic game of Aussie trivia with one victim — Wolf Creek 2 occasionally comes across like writer-director Greg McLean’s one-man campaign against Tourism Australia.
McLean is attempting to refashion Taylor as a kind of antihero. After all, weren’t Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers just surprisingly durable psychopaths at first? Jarratt’s matter-of-fact brutality as he dispatched hapless campers was part of what made Wolf Creek so chilling, but in a strategy that proves sporadically successful, McLean has significantly dialed up the black humor. At least Taylor doesn’t rape anybody this time around.
But aside from a few more car chases and a glimpse of Taylor’s subterranean lair (“You’re in bogan Carcosa now!”), Wolf Creek 2 merely offers more of the same casual brutality. The only shocking (and depressing) part is how inured to it moviegoers have become.