Cast:John Friedrich, Adrian Zmed, Ernest Harden Jr., Lewis Smith, Rachel Ward, Daryl Hannah, Akosua Busia, Joe Pantoliano, Mark Metcalf, Cindy Harrell, Irene Sanders, Richard Jacobs, Donna Pinder, Jim Youngs, Lori Lee Butler
The backwoods-survival sub-genre is one of my favs and I'd like to think I've seen my fair share of solid entries that horror can offer, but sometimes I discover one that has somehow slipped passed me over the years. I stumbled upon this flick recently and decided to give it a check. The film would occasional air on television over the years offering a great transfer and new scenes not seen on the VHS or DVD. Directed by Andrew Davis, who would eventually go on to make some big-budgeted action flicks like Under Siege, The Fugitive, and Collateral Damage, the film introduced to a young Daryl Hannah and Joe Pantoliano (not their debut films of course), both of whom don't have very big roles.
Also known as Campsite Massacre and Carnivore, the movie starts off as your pretty standard backwoods film, with a group of 20-something environmentalists camping out in forest. Naturally one of them goes missing, which leads the group to go on a search. They eventually stumble across an old shed deep in the woods and quickly assumes it's owned by the crazy mechanic/bus driver (Joe Pantoliano) who brought them there. Once a couple dead bodies are discovered, the group is forced to find a way out of the forest and attempt to survive without getting caught up in a trap or sliced up by the mysterious killer that's hunting them down.
Although technically a slasher, the film doesn't actually show any on-screen deaths until towards the end. The rest of the movie is played out as more of a survival pic, making it slightly more unique than what we're usually given within the genre. Another plus is the fact that the victims in this flick actually fight back. At one point they gear up and come up with some sort of plan of attack. We're never really shown a clear shot of the person stalking the group, which adds to the suspense. A majority of the scenes that involve the killer shows him/her creeping around the forest in some heavy camo gear, making them nearly invisible to the naked eye and all-the-more intriguing to us viewers.
Sadly, the movie falls victim to terribly night time scenes, where it's hard to see much of what's going on screen. Aside from that, this is a pretty good and underrated entry within the sub-genre and gives us some interesting twists from the norm. I absolutely loved the climax, when we're finally confronted with the person that has been stalking them this entire time; a very haunting scene.
This is a fairly underrated backwoods-survival horror flick, where it relies on atmosphere and the characters survival instincts to move along its story. There isn't much for gore or on-screen deaths, but if you're looking for something out of the norm, I'd give this one a check.
|Posted on July 29, 2009 - 6:04am | FrighT MasteR|