Wolf Creekis a 2005 independent Australian horror film written, co-produced and directed by Greg McLean . The story revolves around three backpackers (played by Nathan Phillips , Kestie Morassi and Cassandra Magrath ) who find themselves held captive by a serial killer ( John Jarratt ) in the Australian outback . The film was marketed as being "based on true events".
Wolf Creekpremiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2005.The Australian premiere was in March 2005 in Adelaide.The film was later screened at the Cannes Film Festival the following May.It was released in cinemas across the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland in September 2005.In its home country of Australia, the film received a general release in November 2005, apart from the Northern Territory , due to the trial surrounding the murder of British traveller Peter Falconio.It was released on 25 December 2005 in the United States.
The film was nominated for seven Australian Film Institute awards, including Best Director. In 2010, it was included in Slant Magazine 's list of the 100 best films of the decade.
Set in Australia in 1999, two British tourists, Liz Hunter ( Cassandra Magrath ) and Kristy Earl ( Kestie Morassi ) are backpacking across the country with Ben Mitchell ( Nathan Phillips ), an Australian friend and contrarian from Sydney . Currently in Broome, Western Australia , they constantly get drunk at wild, extravagant pool parties and sleep rough together on the beach. Ben buys a dilapidated Ford XD Falcon to facilitate their road journey from Broome to Cairns, Queensland via the Great Northern Highway .
After stopping at Halls Creek for the night, the trio make another stop at Wolf Creek National Park , which contains a giant crater formed by a 50,000-ton meteorite . While exploring the crater, Ben and Liz kiss, after various hints from Kristy.
Hours later, upon returning to their car, the group discovers their watches have all suddenly broken and the car won't start. Unable to discover the problem, they prepare themselves to sit out the night. After dark, a Crocodile Dundee -styled man named Mick Taylor ( John Jarratt ) comes upon them and offers to tow them to his camp to repair the car. After initial hesitation, the group allows Mick to take them to his place, an abandoned mining site several hours south of Wolf Creek. Mick regales them with tall stories of his past while making a show of fixing the car. His manner unsettles Liz and Kristy, although Ben is less concerned. While they sit around a fire, Mick gives the tourists drugged water which he describes as "rainwater from the top end". The water causes the tourists to eventually fall into unconsciousness.
Liz awakens late the next afternoon to find herself tied up in a shed. She manages to break free as night falls, but before she can escape the mining site, she hears Mick torturing Kristy in a garage by shooting at her, sexually abusing her and tormenting her. Liz sets the now-dismantled Falcon on fire to cause a distraction and goes to help Kristy while Mick is busy trying to extinguish the blaze. She then manages to shoot Mick with one of his own rifles, blasting him in the neck and apparently killing him. The women attempt to flee the camp in Mick's truck, but a wounded Mick stumbles out of the garage and blasts at them with a double-barreled shotgun, before giving chase in another truck. The girls evade Mick in the bush by rolling his truck off a cliff and hiding, before returning to the mining site to get another car. Liz leaves the hysterical Kristy outside the gates, telling her to escape on foot if she does not return in five minutes.
Liz enters another garage and discovers Mick's large stock of cars as well as an organised array of travellers’ possessions, including video cameras. She watches the playback on one of them and is horrified to see Mick "rescuing" other travellers stranded at Wolf Creek in almost identical circumstances to her own. She then picks up another camera which turns out to be Ben's, through viewing some of Ben's footage, the recording ends focusing on a scene with Mick's truck in the background, indicating he'd been following them long before they got to Wolf Creek. She gets into a car and attempts to start it, but Mick shows up in the back seat and stabs her through the driver's seat with a huge knife. After more bragging, he hacks three of Liz's fingers off in one swipe. He then severs her spinal cord with a knife, paralyzing her and rendering her a "head on a stick." As Liz lies motionless on the garage floor, he interrogates her for Kristy's whereabouts.
By dawn, Kristy has reached a surfaced highway and is discovered by a passing motorist. He attempts to help Kristy, but is suddenly shot dead from far away by Mick, who has a sniper rifle. Mick then gives chase in a fast Holden HQ Statesman , prompting Kristy to take off in the dead man's car. She succeeds in ramming Mick off the road, but he coolly gets out of the car and shoot's out Kristy's back tyre, causing the car to flip over into the bush. A disoriented, dazed Kristy climbs out of the wreckage and attempts to crawl away, but is coldly shot dead by Mick. He bundles both Kristy and Liz's bodies into the back of the wrecked car and torches it before calmly driving off.
The action then cuts to Ben, whose fate until now has not been revealed. He awakens to find himself nailed to a mock crucifix in a mine shaft, with an aggressive, caged Rottweiler in front of him. He manages to painfully extract himself from the crucifix and enters the camp in early daylight. Ben escapes into the outback, but becomes hysterical and dehydrated, eventually passing out beside a dirt road. He is discovered by two shocked Swedish travellers who take him to Kalbarri , where he is airlifted to hospital.
The ending reveals that no trace of Kristy and Liz were found despite several major police searches. Early investigations were disorganised and hampered by confusion, lack of physical evidence and the alleged credibility of Ben. After four months in police custody, Ben was cleared of all suspicion. The film then ends with the silhouette of Mick Taylor walking into the sunset, rifle in hand.