Nature can be a lustrous sight to behold, but it is often blunt and unforgiving, a force that cannot be reasoned with or stopped. The writing-directing debut of Adam MacDonald, "Backcountry" is a ruggedly compelling thriller among the elements, sending its two lead characters on a weekend hiking excursion that goes harrowingly wrong. The story is a straightforward one about a meaningful human relationship colliding with tragic luck, unfettered by side plots or very many supporting participants. By trekking alongside Alex (Jeff Roop) and Jenn (Missy Peregrym) for the duration, the film positions viewers to feel like they are tagging along, privy to not only their journey, but the alternate connectivity and discord between them. Because of this interpersonal attentiveness, their fates come to mean something deeper as danger mounts, then pounces in a flurry of raw, helpless terror.
Alex is excited to take girlfriend Jenn on her first big wilderness hike, but his confident demeanor returning to a place he used to go growing up fails to mask his underlying inexperience and ultimate irresponsibility. Ignoring a park ranger (Nicholas Campbell) who tells him Blackwood Trail is closed for the season, Alex leads Jenn deeper into the woods, reassuring her that he knows where he's going. An injured toe and a creepily confrontational fellow hiker (Eric Balfour) whom they meet their first day prove to be of little importance when the realization sets in that Alex has gotten them lost. Worse yet, there doesn't appear to be any escaping a large bear on the prowl, the hungry animal lying in wait to make its attack.
See Dustin Putman, TheFilmFile.com. for full review