Friday, October 7, 2016

Phil's Halloween Horror Watch: BACKCOUNTRY (2014) from IFC Midnight - October 3, 2016

Starring Missy Peregrym, Nicholas Campbell, Eric Balfour, Jeff Roop
Written by Adam MacDonald
Cinematography by Christian Bielz
Edited by Dev Singh
Produced by Brandon Baker, Michael Baker, Jeff Roop
Directed by Adam MacDonald
Released by IFC Films

Hello again boils and ghouls and welcome to Day Four of my Halloween Horror Watch marathon! Today we are going on a little hiking trip out in the woods for some rest and relaxation, to witness nature in all her beauty and bliss. Just as long as you don't accidentally run into a crazed man-eating bear!! Oh snap, there's one now! Hang on folks as we travel to the BACKCOUNTRY.

The film's official synopsis: Alex (Jeff Roop) is a seasoned camper, but Jenn (Missy Peregrym) is not. When they realize that they have entered bear territory, there terror gets turned up to a whole new level.

The film was based on the true story of story of couple Mark Jordan and Jacqueline Perry who were attacked by a bear back when they were camping up in Canada in 2005. The movie captures the authenticity of their horrific experience. Both Peregrym and Roop have great on-screen chemistry that propels the movie forward. We care about this couple and when things take a turn for the worse, we sympathize for them as well as with them. But make no mistake, Perry is the star of the movie and she proves it time and time again throughout the movie. Seriously, she is one tough actress as she pitted not only against her antagonist the black bear, but against nature as well.

Theatrical Movie Poster (2015)
The movie also marks the film debut of director Adam MacDonald, who cut his teeth at making a couple of short films. Making a film in the woods is not an easy job to pull off, especially if it's your first film. You have to worry about the elements, animals, insects, etc. MacDonald dismisses all of this by making such an intense thriller that plays on the old concept of man versus nature. But what makes him a really great director is that we was an actor prior to writing and directing, having appeared in SATAN'S SCHOOL FOR GIRLS, CONFESSIONS OF A TEENAGE DRAMA QUEEN, JEKYLL + HYDE and WOLVES plus television series like Vampire High, Beach Girls, Wild Roses and Being Erica. Because he can relate to his cast, he is able to obtain some fantastic acting, especially from the formentioned Peregrym. His directing leans towards more of the documentary style, very in your face, shaky camera and unflinching.

The movie had its premiere at the world famous Toronto International Film Festival in September 2014 to critical acclaim. It went to be screened at other festivals such as the Telluride Film Festival, Stiges International Fantastic Film Festival and the Palm Springs International Film Festival. Eventually, Event Film Distribution bought a share of ownership of the film, which they then sold the US distribution rights to IFC Midnight. The movie was finally released on home video in March of 2015.

BACKCOUNTRY is one of the best nature horror films to have been released in the past 20 years! It's a very suspenseful and horrifically realistic slice of cinema that make you shiver with fear! So if you go down to the woods today, remember that you're not going to find any teddy bear picnic! 4 out of 5 stars!! Recommended viewing!!

BACKCOUNTRY is currently available on DVD at your local retailer. It's also available on Amazon Video, iTunes, Netflix and Video On Demand.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the screaming!

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