Shout Factory is known for bringing the collectors editions of classic films as well as old school TV shows and so much more to the fans, but that is just part of what they do. They also have been bringing newer films to the fans including teaming up with IFC Midnight for some duel releases. The latest one is Backcountry starring Missy Peregrym, Jeff Roop, and Eric Balfour, but does it have the bite to make it work or will it get lost in the woods for too long?
Backcountry follow an urban couple who go camping in the woods and find themselves lost in the territory of a predatory black bear. This is one of those movies that does end up working and being pretty entertaining, but is a bit misleading on some level. The promotion feels like they will being hunted for the majority of the film and in turn making for an intense survival piece, but instead the bear portion doesn’t come into the second half of the film. In the first half it really just follows this couple on their hike and the typical mistakes they make to get lost. From here it becomes not just about survival but also about their relationship falling apart due to their situation. Once we get through that aspect of the film the bear finally shows up and it seemingly turns into more of a horror flick at that point and gets much better. They never went the silly unbelievable route and instead kept it man vs. nature realism for the most part making for a much more scary film knowing something like this could happen. Sure its rare that you hear about these kinds of attacks, but it does and makes you think twice about going out in the woods. The film isn’t overly graphic, but there is one sequence in particular that delivers enough gruesome visuals to keep you satisfied as a whole. The biggest compliment this film deserves is the use of a real bear instead of trying to go the CGI route. It gives it a bigger scope and the realism is needs to really buy into it all.
The cast all do a good job with Missy Peregrym getting the most to do allowing the film to flip the norm and have the female be more of the hero. They also made a smart decision to not make everyone here a sudden hero and instead force them to fight for survival in any way they can while keeping it believable. In the end the film is flawed on some level, but does what it sets out to do and ended up being entertaining. In addition to the film this release also includes commentary, a theatrical trailer, still gallery and behind the scenes featurette taking you further into the woods. Prepare to take on nature when Backcountry hits Blu-ray and DVD on September 1st.