‘Wilderness’ is a very British slasher and as a result is slightly more mature than American teen slashers. The plot involves a set of prisoners who are sent to an island for a ‘team building/survival’ weekend in punishment for driving a fellow inmate to commit suicide. At first everything seems ok the, island is deserted soon enough they 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 tramp is found mauled to death, a crime which cannot be attributed to any of the inmates. After a gory entrance the group soon realise that they are being stalked by someone intent on killing them all.
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.
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; I’m not a fan of morals in horror films!
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.