Synopsis: An urban couple go camping in the woods and find themselves lost in the territory of a predatory black bear.
Sometimes you have to be wary whenever the ‘Based On A True Story’ tagline is slapped on a DVD/Blu-ray since even if the incident in which the basis for the film actually happened various other elements tend to be sprinkled in for pure dramatic effect. Granted bear attacks are not uncommon and remain a big reason a lot of people refuse to step foot in the wilderness. Backcountry thankfully works on a very grounded level focusing on two fairly likable/everyday people so when the tension sets in you’re right there with them as their emotions get caught off guard. That’s not to say there’s any generic moments the most glaring being why a person would outright refuse to keep a map of the national park (or in this case provincial park since Backcountry was filmed on location in Canada) with them at all times. Its another example of where viewers will just shake their heads and wonder to themselves why such a unnecessary plot point needed to be tacked on to an otherwise impressive little indie flick. Realism is the truest form of horror that we deal with every time we wake up in the morning no matter what’s going on in the world so when it comes to tackling a bear attack the film makers didn’t try to shy away from the absolute brutal carnage time slows down where mere seconds feel like hours and no matter how hard we try to look away we’re just as much a victim trying to escape those unrelenting jaws of death.
Growing up in the north woods of the upper mid-west and being 10 minutes away from a national forest not a day goes by where I don’t witness some form of wild life its in those rare instances of seeing a cougar, wolf or bear that makes the hairs of my arms stand up on end. The underlying danger that those types of animals instill in all of us is that while majestic they can become vicious if a person oversteps our bounds in their territory. Backcountry is a raw visceral horror/thriller that if you give it a chance will have your heart pumping a mile a minute and yet in the moments in between running and surviving the scenery itself is absolutely gorgeous. Guess it all goes to show that Mother Nature can be one cruel mistress (seriously though if you’re looking for a refreshing change up from the standard slasher or jump scare horror give this one a watch it more than deserves your full attention).
Final Grade: B+