Wolf Creek, TV spinoff on Fox

A serial killer’s roaming the Outback in this pacy TV adaptation

★★★½ Fox, Tuesday, 30 August, 10pm

IF THIS new series sounds familiar, that’s because it’s a spin-off from the 2005 film about an Outback psycho terrorising backpackers. There was also a sequel.

Its director, Greg McLean, returns with this briskly paced six-parter. Actor John Jarratt also reprises his role as said psycho, Mick Taylor.

This time round the victims are a holidaying American family, consisting of dad, mom and their children – a young lad and 19-year-old Eve (Lucy Fry). The reason I haven’t named the rest of Eve’s family is that they are brutally murdered by Mick before the opening credits. Eve just manages to elude Taylor, who believes she has become ‘croc bait’.

Dustin Clare as Detective Hill

Detective Sullivan Hill (Dustin Clare) is keen to ship Eve back home and get on with tracking down the man behind the atrocity. While his colleagues have their doubts about Eve’s version of events, Hill has bigger worries.

Namely, could the murder of Eve’s family be connected to disappearances across the territories in recent years?

However, more immediately he has to deal with Eve, who has run off with his case files, determined to track down the killer on her own.

John Jarratt as psycho Taylor

Wolf Creek has its rough edges, but it is gripping. The photography is stunning too, playing on the mystery of the beautiful but deadly Outback, as movies have done all the way back to 1971’s Walkabout.

Eve’s motivation as vigilante is a bit flimsy – she doesn’t even seem to get on that well with her dad in the few minutes he’s on screen. But Jarratt is chilling as Mick, who, like real-life monster Fred West, uses his bumpkin folksiness as a cloak for his homicidal intent.

 

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