Friday, October 21, 2016

30 Days of Nightmares #21: BACKCOUNTRY (2014)

The Story: A young couple goes hiking in a national park, and runs afoul of a creepy Irishman and a really hungry bear.

Expectations: JAWS with a bear?  Good luck topping THE REVENANT.

Reaction: This is another one of those movies that doesn’t quite seem like a horror movie to me.  Not that there aren’t horrific things in it.  Not that there isn’t plenty of suspense throughout.  Not that the story isn’t set up in exactly the same way that all indie horror movies are set up these days… with a few obligatory minutes of witty character banter, followed by a sudden change of scenery that spells certain doom for our hapless heroes.  But BACKCOUNTRY reminded me more of survival films like 127 HOURS or TOUCHING THE VOID—even GRAVITY—than my favorite horror movies.

So maybe it’s not really “seasonally appropriate" for a Halloween horror movie marathon.  But it was still a compelling story that delivered exactly what it promised: JAWS with a bear.  

Most Nightmare-Worthy Moment: The bear attack.  Duh.  Although one should never underestimate the horror of removing a dead toenail...

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