Written & Directed by John Rackham
Ray Morris...Henry Dunn
Nick Wilson...Keith Eyles
Holly Corman...Natalie Clayton
Juliet Corman...Shelley Halstead
A group of business associates venture into the wilderness for a Survival Seminar of sorts, a team-morale building exercise lead by survivalist and television personality Ray Morris. Boss Nick Wilson is a pompous ass and sexual harassment suit waiting to happen (imagine an infinitely less-likable Bradley Cooper); Wesley Barker is the geeky object of ridicule; John Carpenter is the kind-hearted tough guy; Kristen Caro is the requisite damsel-in-distress; Holly Corman is the beautiful and resourceful sister of Juliet Corman, who, along with ex-military badass James Brierly, are meant to teach these city folk a thing or two about surviving in the wild.
They're a motley crew to be sure...one just right to be picked off one-by-one by a mysterious madman hiding in the woods. Like you didn't see that one coming.
For the most part, this is pretty standard stuff, a slasher flick in the woods, or one of those new-fangled survivalist films with a whole cast of characters you either dislike or are completely ambivalent to. The murders were not particularly inventive, and more of a variety in styles would have been appreciated. But it wasn't all a disappointment.
The fact that the first part of the film consisted mostly of the characters' survival training made their games of cat-and-mouse with the mysterious madman at least somewhat more believable than in your typical slasher movie. (That limping sixteen year old girl killed a rabid supernatural serial killer with a baseball bat? Really?) And, out of character for this sort of film, an actual motive for the murders is given, although whether you think its credible or not is up in the air. I, for one, found it quite interesting and original, and wished that it had been played up a little bit more.
The cover of the DVD promotes this as Hannibal Lecter meets Survivor, while the website claims that it is Halloween meets Deliverance. That may be stretching it a little bit. Remember those scenes in Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives where Mr. Voorhees was stalking those paintballers? It's kind of like that.
For 90 minutes.
Over all, not a bad entry for your low-budget horror library, and if you find it for a reasonable price, it would fit pretty nicely between your copies of Wolf Creek and Haute Tension.
"And this too has been one of the dark places of the earth."