Australian director Greg McLean needs a break after Jungle


Director Greg McLean.
Director Greg McLean.

AUSTRALIAN director Greg McLean is ready for a well-earned break and some down time.

The guy who terrorised us with Wolf Creek in 2005 has had three additional features films released in two years while juggling the Wolf Creek series, with season 2 about to hit online streaming in December.

Two of his latest films The Darkness and The Belko Experiment did not stray too far from the horror style he established with the popular outback slasher and its 2013 sequel, but Jungle, in cinemas now, shows a new side to him.

Based on Yossi Ghinsberg’s memoir of the same name, Jungle is an account of four mates getting lost in the Bolivian jungle while searching for a remote village and their fight for survival, not just against the harsh elements of the location, but each other.

With no rest for the wicked, McLean spoke to Community News from LA, where it was about 7pm.

“I knew the story of Jungle and that different people had been trying to make the film for many years,” he said.

“I was sent the script and thought it was amazing; it is only the second film I have made in which I had no part in writing the script.

“It was good to do pure drama; it was an inspirational story about friends.”

McLean said Jungle was one of his toughest shoots so far.

Jungle was tougher than Wolf Creek; we had the water elements with the rafting scenes, which was dangerous,” he said.

“We were in Columbia, South America and a lot of the crew were Aussies but some were essentially only Spanish speaking.

“The location was in the middle of nowhere and the challenge was to dodge the weather.”

McLean said he was ready for some relaxation with family in WA.

“I’ve been busy, and it feels like it,” he said.

“I’ve been working steadily the last few years and it has all come together in the last two years with these releases.

“I will get a break when I am finished on the last episodes of the Woolf Creek series; I don’t have any real plans, just to visit family in Geraldton.”

McLean said he last saw his family earlier this year while he was in WA for CinefestOZ, the South-West film festival.

Jungle is in cinemas now.