Backcountry Review

Backcountry (2014) Movie Review By Darrin Gauthier

Backcountry Review

Director: Adam MacDonald
Writer: Adam MacDonald
Stars: Jeff Roop, Missy Peregrym, Nicholas Campbell

Plot:  An urban couple go camping in the woods and find themselves lost in the territory of a predatory black bear.

Running Time: 92 Minutes

IMDB Score: 6.0

Why I Watched It: Not sure, I blame Netflix

Random Thoughts: So some people would call this a horror film, you can if you want I see it as more of a thriller but it’s that sub-genre of man vs nature/animals.

What I Liked: Location was nice and well used, also something a little scary about woods in the dark.  The acting is good, I like Missy Peregrym always thought she’d be a bigger star, she does work so that’s good.  The only other thing I like about this movie is Eric Belfour plays a red herring honestly if you didn’t know the plot you would have though he would be the bad guy and that he would stalk them, so I nice twist and they avoiding uses a very old cliche.

What I Didn’t Like: This was just flat out boring and if you go in wanting to see the bear then you’d be disappointed cause the bear stuff is in the final act, honestly the film plays like Blair Witch but instead of a witch it’s a bear.  Two People get lost and bickering and then a bear comes and attacks and then chases them.  I know that sounds cool, it’s not.  This is a 92 minute movie that seems like two hours.

I have major beefs with this film, of course someone takes a cell phone and keeps it in the car, so they can’t call for help.  Now they go to a trail in the woods they go to a park ranger office and the guy won’t take a map, says he doesn’t need it, now the girlfriend who doesn’t want to be there and has a road flare and bear spray doesn’t make him take a map, you think that might be a plot point later.  Also this is a trail and the park ranger tells them not to go to a certain trail of they’ll get fined, but we see no signs anywhere saying what trail they’re on and also there’s no other park ranger around, the set up would have been better if they just went into the woods to camp but the boyfriend chose this trail because he loved it as a kid.

Let’s get to the bear, he’s almost an afterthought in this film, we waste so much time getting to the bear it isn’t even funny, this couple is not interesting and the two actors have no chemistry what so ever.  We get this weird dinner scene with the Eric Belfour character and that goes nowhere, he has more screen time than the bear and his character could have been written out and it wouldn’t have changed anything.

Let’s talk about how they get lost, so the guy thinks he knows where he’s going but he ends up going the wrong way and they don’t find the trail he wanted, right then and there they say there’re lost, alright sure but just go back the way you came, it’s a big old park with nature trails, who know there’s a body of water, I’m guessing a lake cause they take a canoe to get over, just go back but no let’s fight, let’s say mean things and let’s get lost for two days, now they say this is based on a true story, but we know what based means, someone got lost in a park once and saw a bear.  To be fair the bear stuff near the end is scary and well done but it took too long to get there and there was no pacing or tension at that point, and honestly the bear stuff comes out of nowhere.

Final Thoughts: This plays almost like a shark movie, but instead of an ocean we get the woods.  I just found it boring and I didn’t care for the characters.

Rating: 4/10

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