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Posted on September 17, 2015

Backcountry (2014) Review


REVIEW: Backcountry

R   |   92 min   |   Adam MacDonald   |   (Canada)   |   2014

Summary: A couple, Jenn (Missy Peregrym) and Alex (Jeff Roop) go camping in the woods. They encounter a bear.

Grade: A

If you want to see a truly terrifying film, forget going to the theater to see M. Night Shyamalan’s The Visit. Spend the money on Backcountry, a 2014 Canadian film that opened in the US in March 2015 and was recently released to video on demand through services like Amazon and itunes.

I was transfixed by this film: it’s simple (deceptively so), beautifully filmed, well-written and acted, and will grip you from beginning to end.

One of the brilliant things about the film is that while it is, on the one hand, thoroughly grounded in the real world—no monsters, nothing supernatural—it is nonetheless steeped in the horror film tradition. Indeed, it brings the naturalistic world into the realm of horror so unobtrusively that you don’t realize what’s happening on first viewing—and so you don’t know exactly why you’re so uneasy when the characters go swimming, when they walk through the woods, when they hear acorns falling.

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