Stan’s Wolf Creek: Spoiler-free preview

Brodie Fogg 1 April 2016

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We were given the opportunity to attend a screening of the first episode of Stan's Wolf Creek TV series. Here's what we saw.

In case you missed it, Stan dropped the first full-length trailer for its original Wolf Creek TV series yesterday and just a few hours later we were lucky enough to attend the worldwide premiere in Sydney.

To kick things off, Stan CEO Mike Sneesby spent some time discussing the SVOD service's upwards trajectory over the last 12 months and the significance of non-commercial and original content in Australia - a point that Wolf Creek actor Dustin Clare doubled back on when he was introduced. After that, we recapped the full-length trailer that had launched that morning and got a look behind the scenes with a featurette that contained interviews with the actors (Dustin Clare and John Jarratt), writer Peter Gawler (Underbelly, The Postcard Bandit) and director/creator Greg McLean.

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Creator Greg McLean is currently in the U.S. shooting the horror movie The Darkness (starring Kevin Bacon and Wolf Creek's Lucy Fry) and had to hand over the reins to director Tony Tilse (The Postcard Bandit) for the majority of the series - actor Dustin Clare also spent some time praising Tilse's hard work on the series.

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We were specifically asked not to reveal too much of the show's premise, and that's fair enough. A huge part of the tension in a series like this will rest on the surprises. Still, here's a little about what you can expect when the series airs.

More gritty cinematic thriller than sandy summer bay

Often when a film is adapted for the small screen, the quality takes a hit due to a lower budget and restrictions imposed by commercial television networks. Take a look at the recent Dusk Till Dawn and 12 Monkeys shows. Neither show is particularly bad, they just feel like washed out, stretched out and they totally fail to capture the magic of the source material.

It’s not totally fair to judge the Wolf Creek series off its pilot episode, but what we saw did largely manage to match the cinematic quality of the movies before it. There are some beautiful (and unnerving) shots of Australian wildlife and some huge sweeping shots of the Flinders Ranges. Many scenes are partly obstructed by hanging branch or bush, which is a great technique for upping the tension - one that, if memory serves, was also used in the films. It’s voyeuristic, as if you’re in the scene, standing by helpless.

Fans of Mick Taylor will be pleased

Though the Wolf Creek series has a new lead in Lucy Fry’s Eve Thorogood, there is still plenty of everyone’s favourite outback larrikin Mick Taylor. The humour is black. Very black, but if you can stomach it, it’s the same calibre of comedy we saw back in 2005 when we were first introduced to Taylor.

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Fans coming to see Jarratt as Mick Taylor will not be disappointed. When he was asked what was going to attract people to the Wolf Creek series, Jarratt bluntly quipped that audiences are coming to see him.

When can I watch the  Wolf Creek?

All six episodes of Wolf Creek will become available to stream on Stan May 12. Until then treat yourself to the trailer one last time.

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