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In a juvenile detention center, the inmate Dave commits suicide after being abused with his friend Lindsay by the sociopath bullies Steve and Lewis under the indifference of the other cell-mates. The governor sends them to an uninhabited island to improve their relationships and characters under the command of the tough monitor Jed. They meet another camping with female delinquents under the command of veteran soldier Louise and they camp in another area. However, when they are attacked by a pack of dogs and a mysterious man with a cross-bow wearing camouflage, they join forces fighting to survive under the leadership of Callum. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Director Michael J. Bassett appears to have discovered his stride
Recipe: take one large dollop of Lord of the Flies, toss in a few heaping tablespoons of Southern Comfort, sprinkle with traces of Deliverance, and add The Most Dangerous Game to taste. Blend on high for 110 minutes and presto, you've got a tasty treat of Wilderness, the new survival thriller by Director Michael J. Bassett.
Set on a remote uninhabited island used by Britain's correctional services as a retreat for troubled youth, the movie tells the story of a group of juvenile criminals who get sent to the remote location only to find themselves being stalked by a trained killer bent on revenge.
Screened at the 2006 edition of Montreal's Fantasia Film Festival, the movie doesn't make much effort to conceal the identity of the stalker. In fact, most viewers can figure this out in the first 15 minutes. However keeping secrets isn't what this story is about. Rather, it's about the thrill of hunting humans, the most sophisticated predator on the planet, and the diverse and innovative tricks involved.
Featuring Sean Pertwee, who seems to own a clause in British movie contracts saying he will appear in every UK thriller/horror film under production, the film showcases the talents of a young cast of unknowns who, while not demanded of Shakespearean performances, nonetheless turn in flawless performances to round out the movie.
Bassett, whose previous directorial debut was 2002's intriguing but flawed Deathwatch, seems to have found his stride with this effort. Scenes appear carefully thought out and executed, with a nice attention to detail. He clearly understands how to pace a film of this nature, and what works and what doesn't in what clearly was a demanding shoot involving attack dogs, forest chases, fires and numerous stunts.
The movie has something for every fan of the genre; beheadings, vicious forest traps, maulings, being eaten alive, crossbows, knife fights, skinheads, near drownings, the list goes on.
Viewers can add this to the ever growing list of British horror films such as The Descent, Dog Soldiers, and 28 Days Later (to name only a few) that are currently setting the world standard for delivering quality cinematic chills and thrills.
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