By keeping the series contained to six episodes you would think that Wolf Creek's first season is a lean, mean exercise in terror. It's not. Wolf Creek does drag its heels from time to time, dwelling on glorious sunsets and barren wastelands without actually developing the story further. Fortunately, the sunsets are quite stunning and the Australian backdrop provides some beautiful scenery along the way. The fact that Wolf Creek is in no rush to reach its bloody conclusion doesn't hurt the series as such, but there are times when the story line lacks focus.
Still, it's business as usual for Mick when he comes across the Thorogood family, on holiday to experience the outdoors and help their 19-year-old daughter Eve (Lucy Fry) overcome her addiction to painkillers. Mick targets the family with his usual grace and charm, and a bloody massacre ensues, but this time the outcome is slightly different. Eve survives (barely) and manages to escape. After recovering from her injuries, Eve sets out on a cross country mission of vengeance, determined to hunt down Mick Taylor and end his killing spree once and for all.
Eve crosses paths with several characters along the way, most of whom have violent tendencies, but she does meet the occasional good guy as well. Most notably a detective played by Dustin Clare. As with Eve and the rest of the ensemble, he is a flawed individual, and the relationship that develops between the pair is a little bit off-kilter. However, good intentions are hard to find in Wolf Creek so we'll let that go for now. The other characters interact with Eve in the most surprising of ways, which in lesser hands could have detracted from the impending face off, but the kooky inhabitants make for welcome diversions and add to the offbeat nature of the series.
The final episode does give Mick a backstory of sorts but the flashbacks feel a little rushed, especially considering how much time is spent in other areas of the series, but it's all quite serviceable and the final showdown is definitely worth the wait. Lucy Fry is outstanding in the lead role and John Jarratt always impresses as the character who will surely define him. Over the course of two films and this six part series, Mick Taylor has become one of the most intoxicating screen villains, lighting up the screen with his menacing chuckle and raging intensity.
By shifting the focus to our reluctant heroine, Greg McLean has ensured that season one sets itself apart from the movies that preceded it. Quirky but flawed, Wolf Creek is entertaining stuff. Occasionally inspired and led by two standout performances, fans of the series can breathe a heavy sigh of relief - Wolf Creek rarely disappoints. Bring on season two.
Wolf Creek: Season One is available to buy from October 10