‘Wilderness’ is a very British slasher and as a result the overall feel is slightly less camp, and slightly more graphic than most American teen slashers; despite being structurally the same. It’s a film that flies a little under the radar, but I would recommend it to most!
The plot involves a set of young offenders who are sent to an island for a team building/survival weekend in part as punishment for driving a fellow inmate to commit suicide. At first everything seems fairly typical; however, despite being told the island is deserted they soon discover that they are not alone. A group of girls from a neighbouring correctional facility and a homeless guy are mixed into spiralling tensions. However, the weekend really gets going when the drifter is found mauled to death, a crime which cannot be attributed to any of the inmates. After the gory entrance the group soon realise that there’s a further, more significant party present, one who is stalking them, intent on killing them all one by one.
It’s clearly not a high budget film, and I may be wrong but I’m pretty sure it was a straight to DVD release, regardless; the acting is impressive the camera work and sound are both of an excellent standard considering the logistics of filming on location. The dialog and characters are a refreshing change to the usual teen menagerie. After hearing the group’s convictions you can clearly see that the choice of casting was carefully considered as each actor plays their part excellently. The language used is coarse throughout and political correctness is not considered either, but what you would expect from a group of young offenders.
As well as a gripping plot this slasher, despite having a 15 (UK) rating, is pleasingly graphic, as is the range of execution methods. Primarily the ‘hunter’ is armed with a crossbow and a well-trained pack of attack dogs, but he’s pretty resourceful, using bear and snare traps and a trusty knife to pick off his prey. More of the deaths, particularly in the later parts of the films are quite gory as we are shown prolonged camera shots of the torn/eaten body parts, with some of the deaths even going as far as to show some form of dismemberment. Equally satisfying are the varied deaths, and clearly what the film perhaps lacks in depth, the film makes up for with the escalating violence and creativity with the kills. As an added plus there are little to no camera cuts off the death scenes, so despite the films moderate ratings, you certainly wont be left feeling short changed.
The only criticism of the film is that when you find out who the killer is, it all seems a little obvious. The underlying theme of revenge/’eye for an eye’ philosophy is a little cheesy too, but then that’s just a personal preference.
Overall if you were a fan of this style of horror/thriller including films such as ‘Dog Soldiers’ and ‘The Decent’ then you will most definitely enjoy this. Whilst it’s not particularly scary the deaths are nice and graphic, and the story and events are believable.