March 21, 2015

Backcountry (2014)

Backcountry (2014) - Movie Review
Directed by: Adam MacDonald
Country: Canada

Movie Review: Adam MacDonald’s directorial debut feature is a credible, tense indie thriller, based on true events, that realistically explores the misadventures of a passionate urban couple in the Canadian wilderness. Alex (Jeff Roop) and Jenn (Missy Peregrym) agree to go on a relaxing weekend trip into the nature, spending some well deserved time together, surrounded by sky, trees, and waterfalls. Convinced he knows pretty well where he was going, and planning on proposing to her, Alex lost the track for his route. Horrified, the couple finds themselves lost in the territory of a threatening black bear, without a map or cell phone. Even before that, Mr. MacDonald tries to distract us with the appearance of a suspicious stranger whose talk and behavior caused some uneasiness. In a first stage, the film relies on common strategies, playing with disturbing noises where the silence reigns, and tenuous lights upon the darkness. These preparations last almost an hour, with Jenn’s facial expression suggesting she was premeditating something harmful, especially whenever they had to opt for a direction. When the bear effectively attacks, we are shaken by the powerful, shocking images that convey a genuine sensation of terror. Alex, completely disfigured, ends up being meat dish for the avid bear, while Jenn is abandoned to her own luck, trying to follow her surviving instincts. “Backcountry” doesn’t really break new ground, however, its story is solidly built to a crescendo, what is another point in favor. It’s as if we wanted the story to come to an end, finishing with the agony, and at the same time keep on watching more. The score by Fréres Lumiéres was adequate for each situation while cinematographer Christian Bielz did a nice job.

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