Jenn and Alex (Missy Peregrym and Jeff Roop) have decided to go on a deep-wilderness hike in a provincial park where Alex has been seen several times in the past. When they take a wrong turn on the way to a certain area in which Alex wanted to show to Jenn, they become lost within the territory of an aggressive black bear. With no map and no way to call for help, they must now try to survive and find their way back.
I’ll just start off by saying that this film made me proud of my country which is Canada. The majority of the film occurs within a forest of what I assume is a provincial park somewhere I hope is in Canada. I thought the film was shot beautifully in that it was able to capture the feeling of hiking through a forest. From all the colors of the leaves, the various streams of water, and all the sounds of nature, it all felt authentic. This is a small criticism but I wish there was more wildlife on screen. Despite everything I mentioned about the film being beautifully shot, there was still one thing I didn’t like. Throughout the film, I would notice the subtle cuts where the camera shots would change. I found these quite distracting. I can forgive a few of these but the film could maybe have been edited a little better. Some may get bored by the fact that the film is just a couple in a forest hiking. I will admit that I did get bored at times but the performances of Missy Peregrym and Jeff Roop kept me engaged for the most part even though the dialogue did get a little cheesy. Adding more characters wouldn’t have worked with the story. There was one Irish guy named Brad (Eric Balfour) who showed up near the beginning but there was no point as he did not add anything to the story. What I didn’t like about the film was that I thought the story did start a little slowly as the action, for lack of a better word, doesn’t start until the second half. Without giving away the story, I can understand why that was but I just thought it could have been done slightly better. I will also say that the film does get a little gratuitously graphic in its depiction of bears and I would have preferred if they could have brought that down a few notches. Also the end felt a little too convenient and easy for me as well. The film’s running time is around 90 minutes which I thought was just right based on the story. You will hear the cliche suspense music during suspenseful moments but the other music felt out of place. Overall, Backcountry is a decent film that will keep you on the edge of your seat on times but you’ll have hopefully stayed in them until then.