Director – Michael J. Bassett
Cast – Toby Kebbell, Alex Reid, Sean Pertwee, Stephen Wight, Luke Neal, Ben McKay, Lenora Crichlow, Karly Greene, Adam Deacon, Richie Campbell, Stephen Don, John Travers
Release Year – 2006
Reviewed by John of the Dead
After reading about this flick’s awesome plot, I decided I had to give this one a watch, and I am glad that I left this experience very satisfied. I have always been a fan of wilderness survival type horror films, simply because they allow the viewer to easily put themself in that situation and think “What would I do?”. Viewer engagement is always fun, and this flick has lots of it.
Wilderness follows a group of juvenile delinquents who are sent to an isolated island after causing the death of a fellow inmate. The focus of their trip is to get them to work their problems out while learning some life lessons in the process. Soon after arriving they realize they are not the only people on the “isolated” island, as a crazed killer with a crossbow and some maniacal booby traps has plans to make sure no one leaves the island alive.
I knew I would enjoy this one as long as it was just executed well, and it was. If you are a fan of these wilderness/adventure type films then you are sure to enjoy this flick, and the fact that it involves a bunch of “badass” juvenile prisoners being thrown into an atmosphere where their harsh words and Neanderthal-ish tactics are useless is a nice touch as well. Director Michael J. Basset did a fine job with this film’s atmosphere and overall execution. The dense and vivid forest was the perfect backdrop for a well trained killer to pick off each of his victims one by one because none of the victims really knew where he was, and it left them with the utmost amount of confusion and paranoia. The acting performances were positive as well, and Mr. Basset used these actors to provide a great deal of character conflict and tension, and this definitely works over the viewer thanks to a few characters you just love to hate. Plus, we get some very sweet kills and lost of very satisfying gore scenes. Yeah, as if this flick could not get any cooler…it did.
The storyline is an engaging one and I must applaud first-time writer Dario Poloni for giving us a good story with no previous writing credits. This flick’s storyline somewhat follows the idea behind “Battle Royale”, in which delinquent youths are sent to an isolated island, except of course in Battle Royale the object is for the youths to kill each other off, heh. Nonetheless, I liked that this story involved mostly unlikable piece-o-crap characters getting what they deserve, and not merely whether or not they had anything to do with the death of their fellow inmate. We are thrown a few twists along the way, which included more characters, and because these characters were mostly unlikable it only provided more vengeance-porn for me to enjoy.
My only knock against this flick would have to be some of the character issues we encounter due to this flicks’ script. I did find it hard to care for any of the characters in this film, including the somewhat-likeable lead character Challum. I “enjoyed” his character, yes, because of how brash, brave, and unrelenting he was in the face of the much experienced killer he was facing, but did I “like” him? No, I cannot say that I did, and I would not be surprised if everyone else who viewed this film felt the same. Nonetheless, this is not a huge knock against this film, and merely a little problem I encountered from this otherwise really great watch.
Overall, this is an awesome flick that I recommend to all fans of the horror genre, especially those who would like to see one involving an experienced killer picking off a bunch of brats on HIS turf. We get great gore, good execution, and some other sweet twists and elements thrown in that make this a great and fun watch.