So, yes, this is based - very, very loosely - on a true story. A couple was camping in a remote provincial park in northern Ontario and they were attacked by a predatory black bear. The story in the movie is reversed. In the true story, the woman is killed and the man escapes; in this movie the man is killed and the woman escapes. It would be interesting to know why they reversed that, but whatever the reason they did. I watched this because it was based on a true story, and because every now and then I don't mind watching this kind of movie. But "Backcountry" disappointed me. To me, it seems vastly over-rated.
The primary problem I had with this was the relationship between Alex and Jenn (Jeff Roop and Missy Peregrym.) The movie starts with them going on a backwoods camping trip. He wants to go; she doesn't, but she goes along. Alex does a lot of stupid things apparently trying to impress Jenn. "I know my way. I don't need no stinkin' map. I'm not gonna turn back just because we both know there's a wild animal stalking us and I know (even if she doesn't) that it's a bear. I'm not gonna admit that I have no freakin' clue where we are." Why does he feel this need to impress her? It makes it feel as if they haven't been together all that long. Alex seems insecure with Jenn. Sure, he's a landscaper and she's a lawyer. But later on we find out that they must have been together for a while, because this camping trip is Alex's plan for how to propose to her. OK. The relationship just didn't hit home with me, and in all honesty I didn't sense a whole lot of chemistry between Roop and Peregrym.
Setting aside my confusion and disinterest about the relationship, there's also the problem that the movie for the most part is dull. Some call it "suspenseful." Seriously? Why? I mean - for the most part, why? Yeah. We know there's a bear around, but we have to go through about half the movie before we actually see it and the actual attack on Alex lasts for about two minutes. It's graphic and bloody - but then it's over. Jenn has to escape and, yeah, the bear is chasing her - but, frankly, we don't see much of the bear chasing her, and when we do the bear's heart didn't really seem to be in the chase. The bear probably would have preferred a nap after snacking on Alex, I suppose. But we had to spend most of the second half of the movie watching Jenn run - and most often we had no real sense if the bear was actually chasing her anyway.
Then there was the weird decision to include Brad (Eric Balfour.) Jenn encountered Brad while Alex was looking for wood. Jenn asks Brad (a total stranger she meets in the backcountry) to stay for dinner. And - yeah - Brad's a little weird. You know this movie is about a bear attack, but ... a stranger? In the backcountry? With a knife - which was made clear? There has to be something there, right? Well, no. They have dinner, Brad pees in front of them, has a wee bit of a tense conversation with Alex - then, g'bye. At least, until the very last scene when he's the one who stumbles upon Jenn when she finally makes it out. (Which I somehow knew was going to happen.) I didn't get the point of adding Brad to the story.
A truly over-rated movie. (3/10)
Action / Drama / Horror / Thriller
Action / Drama / Horror / Thriller
An urban couple go camping in the Canadian wilderness - where unimaginable beauty sits alongside our most primal fears. Alex (Jeff Roop) is a seasoned outdoorsman while Jenn (Missy Peregrym), a corporate lawyer, is not. After much convincing, and against her better judgment, she agrees to let him take her deep into a Provincial Park to one of his favorite spots - the secluded Blackfoot Trail. On their first night, deep in the forest, they have an unsettling encounter with Brad (Eric Balfour), a strange alpha male with eyes for Jenn who may or may not be following them. Alex's desire to quickly reach Blackfoot Trail only intensifies. They push further and further into the woods, Alex stubbornly insisting that he remembers the way. After three days their path disappears; they are hopelessly lost. Without food or water, they struggle to find their way back, the harsh conditions bringing out the best and worst in them, pushing their already fragile relationship to the breaking point. When...
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July 12, 2015 at 09:21 PM