Backcountry (2014)

March 20, 2015 - 2:06am | FrighT MasteR
  Tags: Adam MacDonald, Backcountry, backwoods, camping, Eric Balfour, Fella Films, Fund Téléfilm Canada, Jeff Roop, Missy Peregrym, Nicholas Campbell, Northern Ontario Heritage, survival, the woods, thriller, thrillerAdam MacDonald

Your rating: None Average: 5.5 (8 votes)
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Adam Macdonald
Jeff Roop, Eric Balfour, Missy Peregrym

Backcountry comes to us from first time director Adam Macdonald, whose unfamiliarity behind the camera definitely shows in several scenes (at times it seemed like the wobbly camera was going to bump into the actors), but that's the least of the film's problem. Actually, thinking it was even a horror flick to begin with was my problem. Despite what the premise and poster would lead you to believe, this is essentially just a wilderness drama about a young couple's boring camping trip in the woods for the first hour, then in the last 30 a bear suddenly drops in and decides to make things a little more difficult than needs to be for the couple.

Being a fan of backwoods survival horror I wanted to like this movie, but despite how many chances I gave it, the flick just kept losing me. The primary issue I had was the dreadful pacing. As I said above, the first hour literally consists of nothing but the couple walking through the forest, setting up camp, hearing a strange noise, walking again, setting up camp, seeing something in the distance, walking again, getting lost and then you realize an hour has passed and literally nothing else has happened. Oh wait, I'm wrong--at one point a stranger (Eric Balfour) ate dinner with the couple, but was shooed away for being a creeper. Did I mention his role in the film was completely pointless? Because it was.

The bear finally shows up in the last 30 minutes to cause havoc, as if the filmmakers only just then remembered that there was supposed to be a bear in the film. Luckily by that time the pacing does pick up and the "horror" begins, however that's pretty short-lived, as the survivor escapes the creature's grasp only to find themself injured and lost, once again. This leaves the survivor to wander around for the remainder of the film's running time (*yawn*). Though I have to admit, the scene where the bear attacks the couple was fairly gruesome and offered up some surprisingly decent practical gore effects. However, I could've done without all the annoying quick edits in that particular scene.

Backcountry is more of a boring wilderness drama than a survival horror flick. Knowing that before hand will likely save you a lot of trouble, as I went in expecting a menacing bear stalk and attack a couple, but that's only a minor aspect of this otherwise dramatic camping experience.

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FrighT MasteR's picture
FrighT MasteR is an avid horror fan / monster hunter extraordinaire, who created and has been running UHM since its inception, way back in 1999.




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