TIFF 2014: Backcountry

Backcountry A couple on a camping trip have to struggle for survival in the thriller Backcountry.  Jenn (Missy Peregrym) and her boyfriend Alex (Jeff Roop) head out for weekend of camping.  Despite the advice of the park ranger (Nicholas Campbell), Alex opts to go into the provincial park without a map, since it’s a place he has been going to since childhood.  After being unsettled by the arrival of a mysterious stranger named Brad (Eric Balfour), Alex takes an unscheduled detour off of the main pathway.  Soon enough, Alex and Jenn find themselves lost and, even worse, tracked by a predatory black bear. Backcountry is a very effective thriller, which can serve as a cautionary tale of the things that can go wrong on a camping trip.  With Alex being somewhat cocky about his knowledge of the provincial park, he purposely opts to travel without a map into an area that is supposed to be closed for the season.  The arrival of the somewhat sinister looking Brad on the first night serves to further spook Alex off the beaten path, before he and Jenn find themselves in the heart of bear territory. It can be hard to talk much more about Backcountry without getting into spoiler territory, but it can be said that a black bear plays a pretty big role in the film and that it is pretty terrifying.  In fact, there is one scene in the film, where things get quite graphic and can be hard to watch.  Since the film focuses nearly entirely on two characters and involves a bear, an obvious comparison can be made to the 1997 Alaska-set thriller The Edge.  That comparison aside, Backcountry stands on its own as a pretty well made wilderness thriller, which may cause some to reconsider going camping. 8 | LIKED IT Screenings:

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Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).