Points for some clever camera work here and there and the punchy editing. No points for the generic, predictable story. Nor for the wholly unlikable characters, the puzzling dead ends like the fake-out tension with the passerby, or the corny special effects. Great to see a real animal used, and it could've been impressive with a less-is-more approach. Instead we got earthquake shots and cheap prosthetics.
2-3. Unfortunately, the ending renders an early scene about a sexual tug-of-war over the heroine virtually moot. The movie's true intentions are essentially a simple survival story wherein one human escapes the deadly forces over nature, and there's not a whole lot to say about. It looks okay, it's acted perfectly fine. I would say that qualifying it as 'horror' would seem to be pushing it a bit, but it's whatever.
I couldn't get over what an unconvincing jackass that boyfriend was. No human being goes hiking when they're a child and comes back years later thinking they don't need a map. I also found myself cracking up every time that bear attacked, which probably wasn't the audience response the director was going for.
It builds its couple with proper dimension, but the best scene is a riff on two males at ends for a woman's affection. This moment echoes Polanski's Knife in the Water, yet we don't side with Eric Balfour's macho character, so it's uncomfortable and tense. The rest of Backcountry--even the bear scenes-- is an ordinary survival film that's not as tense as that confrontation and has nothing new to say, either.
A good debut for young director Adam MacDonald that when concentrating on its very Canadian man vs nature elements creates an overcoming feeling of dread but the film unfortunately gets of course when it becomes predator vs prey instead. Atmospheric and suspenseful before giving in to genre conventions. Star Missy Peregrym is most excellent however giving the exercise some real cojones.