Fear hovered unmistakably in the air as the duo ran through the woods, each uncertain turn following the last. They watched as the injured wolf fled, unbeknownst to the deadly poacher looming around the following corner, silently waiting for the perfect moment to strike.
UpTV’s “Love in Wolf Creek” has it all: building suspense, dangerous enemies, and a newly-sparked love. There’s a perfect connection between the hardworking rancher and the animal conservationist in their passion for wildlife, forcing them to face a fraudulent, mysterious, and greedy poacher among the ancient trees of Wolf Creek.
Although the dominant irrealism of such a situation taking place demeans the film’s overall integrity, it remains a predominant example of modern romance at its finest.
“Love in Wolf Creek” is a story of a rancher from Montana named Austin Spencer who comes to Wolf Creek to help out at his aunt’s hardware store with errands. Meanwhile, animal conservationist Samantha Gavin works hard at her animal refuge to tend to the different animals and finish chores around her property in preparation for a much-needed visit from an investor who could potentially save her haven. With the influence of an injured wolf in need of help and a matchmaking aunt, our protagonist’s stories begin to intertwine in an irreversible manner. They are forced to face some of their greatest fears together, all the while racing to save a dying wolf and, in turn, the conservatory itself. Their noble efforts are impeded by Calvin Cole, a hunter driven by lust and greed to the point where he will stop at nothing to get the wolf’s hide, legally or not. Fortunately, the animal-loving duo learn to work together to stop the poacher, save the wolf, and save the conservatory, finding love in the process.
Although the film has many strengths, like the structural consistency of most romance movies, it lacked one of the most important things for a movie that people want to relate to. Realism.
Before we get to that, let’s talk about some things the filmmakers did do well with. First off, “Love in Wolf Creek” follows the perfect structure of most romance films that has proved to be successful time and time again. It begins with two people, not connected in any way in that period of their life, although in some films they knew each other from their younger years. By some outside force or chance, in this situation Austin’s aunt, they meet and interact with one another. The start of their relationship is usually a bumpy one; they might not get along or have opposing views that interfere with their relationship, but they are forced to get along. These imposed circumstances lead to a connection between the characters, which eventually grows into a long-lasting romance. The film definitely meets these criteria. Sam and Austin are forced to work through many challenges in order to meet their final goal of helping the wolf. They struggle against a devious poacher, wait out the night in a ravine after Sam injures her ankle, and jump into a lake off a cliff to evade a legion of angry wasps. Collectively, these events form a bond between the protagonists, leading to their love and eventually, of course, their first kiss to finish off the movie. This is one of the reasons I like these types of movies because it was easy to follow and enjoyable!
Now, realism. Let’s face it: these movies tend to lack the realistic aspects of romance and adventure that viewers want to relate to, and this one is no exception. I mean, jumping off a cliff just to avoid wasps? Some scenes ended up making me feel like the scriptwriter(s) tried too hard to turn a feel-good romance into an action film, and it created a tension that seemed eccentrically forced. For example, Sam ends up falling into a ravine and hurting her ankle, and Austin comes down to help her. They have to stay the night at the bottom because they have no easy way up, and Sam can’t even stand because of her hurt ankle. But the next day, Austin coincidentally finds some rope in his bag, and Samantha’s ankle is suddenly better, allowing her to scale the rocky wall and continue scouring the forest for the wolf. If her ankle was so injured that she couldn’t even stand up, the fact that it somehow healed overnight goes to show how the people who wrote this scene just needed a reason to keep them from not setting up for the investor’s arrival back at the conservatory. Additionally, their relationship felt illogically rushed to me. Friendships and romantic relationships take time to form, and they should take even longer for people like Sam, loners who favor doing work solo. It’s harder to apply our own lives and relationships to these movies if they don’t respect this, and there should’ve been more care put into this aspect of the film. No matter how small they are, these mistakes just serve as reminders of how unrealistic the story is, and can sometimes be the deal-breaker between watching them or not.
UpTV’s “Love In Wolf Creek” was not able to provide certain realistic elements that I want to resonate within movies, but it certainly beat my expectations for regular romance films while staying within certain criteria that all share. If you’re looking for a feel-good love story with a pinch of action, then I’d highly recommend this to be one of your first options.
You can find this on UpTV’s main streaming channel and here.