Moira Macdonald of The Seattle Times walked out of Wolf Creek but reviewed it anyway, in the form of an editorial explaining why it was not worth reviewing. Roger Ebert dusted off his zero-star review, denouncing the film as something that he could not sit through "without dismay." Other critics have responded similarly. Ok, fine. But my question is this: why does it cause less dismay for these critics to sit through comedies like the Friday the 13th and Scream films, which make sight gags of slashed-up bodies, heads crushed like walnuts and popped-out eyeballs? Consider this tidbit from Ebert's review of a recent Michael Myers film: "There is a scene in the movie where a kid drops a corkscrew down a garbage disposal.....I am thinking, if this kid doesn't lose his hand, I want my money back." No dismay there. The key stylistic change between that film and Wolf Creek is that in Wolf Creek, death is not played for laughs. The characters are not glaring stereotypes, and the audience is primed to take their potential torture and death seriously. The director wants you to be legitimately scared or to cry, as some people around me in the theater were doing, when the carnage begins. So, why is that no longer a legitimate aim of horror cinema? Why is writer/director Greg McLean being castigated for doing his job effectively?

categories Reviews, Cinematical