The tough, no-nonsense Julian and his more laid-back friend John are a couple of veteran campers who decide to embark on a no-frills expedition into the deep Arizona wilderness. Obnoxious ...
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The tough, no-nonsense Julian and his more laid-back friend John are a couple of veteran campers who decide to embark on a no-frills expedition into the deep Arizona wilderness. Obnoxious troublemaker and blundering tenderfoot Paul tags along. However, things go horribly awry after John gets seriously wounded and the subsequent pressure causes Julian to degenerate into a ferocious primal state. Written by
I have to agree with the other, few, reviewers here....why this film has barely a "4" rating is beyond me. It's about twice that good. Not only is it an interesting story, the characters are well-drawn and complex, the action is very well staged and performed, and even the special effects are creepy and effective.
Julian and John (Shane Dean and Slade Hall) are well-worn survivalists. Their idea of a kick-ass weekend is to walk for a few days into Arizona desert with nothing but a couple bottles of water. Julian seems to have taken these treks a bit more seriously over the years, and balks when John invites his younger loud-mouthed bud Paul (Cavin Gray Schneider) along for their latest adventure into the Arizona Coconino (?) forest (a new one on me, but a very cool location).
There's good tension between them as Julian and Paul constantly tear-down and one-up each other with John desperately trying to referee. Much like "Deliverance," however, the trio encounter an unexpected turn of events that has them fighting for their lives for two-thirds of the film.
I'd never seen any of these actors before, and I was extremely impressed with all of them, particularly Shane Dean's Julian, who takes a role that could have easily been written off into crazy-ville and instead makes it compelling and oddly tragic.
What really blew me away were the dream and drug-infused (via peyote, of course) sequences. For a low-budget movie, these were extremely creepy and vividly rendered.
The ending is chilling, and not easy to shake. The only minor quibble I have with the film is many of the insider survivalist techniques. They're not really "explained" very well, and there's ample opportunity to do so, given that Paul's character is a newbie.
But this is a minor flaw in an otherwise trippy, tense experience.
8 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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