(dir. Adam MacDonald)
A woman and her boyfriend get lost in the backwoods of the Canadian wilderness and encounter a black bear after straying from the path.
Barring a few exceptions, I’m not a big fan of the “animals attack” variation of horror. That being said, I think bears are terrifying. In midst of all the supernatural events, serial killers, and viruses I’ve viewed over this month, nothing has really gotten to me the same way Adam MacDonald’s survivalist horror story has. Partially based on several real-life events, Backcountry has the kind of primal realism that makes the film difficult to enjoy as just an entertaining piece of fiction. Missy Peregrym and Jeff Roop both give emotional performances as Jenn and Alex. Peregrym is the heart of the film, the one we can continually root for in the growing face of her boyfriend's stupid decisions. While the first 40 minutes are mostly the two of them walking through the woods, the film never becomes boring or loses its tension, despite the inevitability of the bear encounter.
And on that subject of the bear encounter, the attack (in which a real bear was used) is horrific in every way imaginable. No matter how many kills scenes you’ve seen in horror movies, nothing comes close to preparing you for the sight of a bear tearing apart human flesh.
Scare Factor: 4/5 If you’re looking for horror that’s more grounded than what you’ve been watching, Backcountry is the way to go. It won’t be the scariest movie you’ve ever seen, but it’ll at least give you reason to pause before you plan your next camping trip.
**Film site, Audiences Everywhere has been featuring a variety of horror-themed articles and interviews this month including staff writer Ryan McLean's conversation with Adam MacDonald: http://www.audienceseverywhere.net/horrortowns-adam-macdonald-interviews/