The plot has some age-old clichés and the overall storyline is quite predictable. The script does take some detours here and there that are a little unexpected. The story centers around a teen aged boy, his mother, and stepfather who move into an apparently peaceful mountain town in rural British Columbia with the intent of running the local general store. Quickly they learn that a dangerous family has the town under its thumb and will strike out violently at anyone who disrespects them. The local sheriff is of course helpless to do anything, and the town folk have been basically beaten into submission by this family known as the Cullens. The Cullens apparently sold some land to a ski resort and now simply brood over the town. Maybe they make some additional cash from selling moonshine. I saw some sheep on their property, too. Nobody makes them pay for anything, so it really doesn't matter where they get their income I suppose.
The Cullens consist of a dad, three ornery sons, and a pretty daughter who is the only nice one of the bunch. They hardly even let her out, and woe is the man who should be caught looking at her! Of course the young hero of the story and the girl fall in love, further antagonizing the men-folk of the family. One of the brothers has a thing for the kid's mother, and his stepfather is kind of mild-mannered and certainly is no match for the Cullens. This is a sort of great angst for the young lad who'd rather spend his time with a cool old Indian who lives nearby. The Indian and the lad kind of have a Daniel/Mr. Miyagi relationship, and the old timer even teaches him how to throw a spear. This will come in handy once things get really violent. The story is just one escalating act of violence and retribution after another. Many of the scenes show ugly acts of brutality directed against women or helpless men. By the third act you'll be itching to see the Cullens get what's coming to them.
The acting is really good. Better than the script probably deserves. Jonathan Crombie as the boy does quite well. He kind of looks like Levi Johnston who impregnated Bristol Palin. Olivia d'Abo is tough and gorgeous as Becky Cullen. She is a real trooper for swimming in what had to be a very cold river. And thankfully she was wearing a white tee shirt at the time! The guy who plays the Cullen's dad looks like the Toe Cutter from Mad Max. And listen closely when Janet Laine Green speaks. If her voice sounds familiar, then you must have some pre-school kids who watch Little Bear. She is the voice of Mother Bear on that show! Give this film a shot. It isn't quite as bad as many will tell you. 6 of 10 stars.