Backcountry boldly claims that it is based on a true story. However, how much of that claim is used for effect is very debatable. This survival horror story, tells the tale of a young couple, Alex and Jenn. Seeking adventure, they go on a multi-day camping trek deep into the Canadian backcountry. Now, this is an area of outstanding natural beauty. But, in the Canadian wild, lurks wild dangers in the form of bears, elk, cougars, and wolves. So when a ferocious black bear attacks the couple in their tent, what was a dream trip, becomes a nightmare fight for survival.
It's fair to say that there are many ways to put to frighteners on people in a horror flick. But being ripped apart by a 400-pound wild adult bear is certainly one that is not seen that often. So, let's just say that writer/director Adam MacDonald has drawn a winning card with Backcountry. Quite accomplished at creating horror movies, McDonald pulls on every trick in his book to create a brilliantly tense and truly horrific experience. There's a great use of the camera that changes rapidly to complement the moments perfectly. In fact, Backcountry was nominated for the best independent horror film and I can see why.
Now, it's fair to say that you are not witnessing any Oscar-worthy performances here. However, for an independent movie, the tiny cast of Backcountry is surprisingly good. Cast as the loving couple on their first wilderness adventure together is Missy Peregrym and Jeff Roop. They give a remarkably realistic performance as a couple. Displaying all of the awkward nuances that couples must navigate, which is rarely seen. Plus, they are excellent in the most crucial scenes like the attack which is outrageously shocking. Nicholas Campbell gives an unnervingly odd performance as the Park Ranger that borders on bizarre. And Eric Balfour gives an edgy performance as a wilderness guide that the couple meets along the trail.
So, to conclude, Backcountry is very much worth watching. I have to admit that horror films are not my first choice. But, the unique premise provides an edge that few flicks can provide. Plus, the blend of an outdoor adventure in spectacular scenery adds to the appeal too. The downside is that Backcountry is clearly produced on a very low budget. If you want to see a much more convincing bear attack then check out The Revenant. However, Backcountry is still very convincing. I certainly would not be watching this film just before going on a camping trip in Canada.