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The Hike (I) (2011)

3.8
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Ratings: 3.8/10 from 996 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 15 critic

A young soldier, Kate (Zara Phythian), returns from a tour in Afghanistan after witnessing her boyfriend's tragic death in combat. With the comfort of her friends, including Torri (Barbara ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Charlie
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Leanne
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Dean
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Torri
Adam Ray Young ...
Mikalos
Kasha Bajor ...
Anna
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Anja
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Ethan
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Johnny
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David
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Helen
Emma Bulivant ...
Gemma
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Adam
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Storyline

A young soldier, Kate (Zara Phythian), returns from a tour in Afghanistan after witnessing her boyfriend's tragic death in combat. With the comfort of her friends, including Torri (Barbara Nedeljacova), she takes the chance to get away on a camping trip to a picturesque, remote area of the British countryside. Wanting to escape their past, the girls begin their expedition into the woods for a peaceful break. As they near Sunset Point, they come across a strange and evasive group of locals who seem to be living off the land. During their journey they also have a friendly encounter with three charming, rock-climbing adventurers, led by Ethan (Ben Loyd Holmes). After the girls find themselves secluded again, Charlie (Jemma Bolt) suddenly goes missing, leaving the girls vulnerable in the dangerous woods. As darkness falls, the girls will be forced to rely on each other and their newly formed friendships to find Charlie before it becomes the last hike of their lives. Written by Audrey Kim

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camping | woods | forest | hike | fight | See All (22) »

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Horror

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Release Date:

30 September 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Infernal Torture  »

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2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

 
A low rent 'horror' journey that just isn't horrific or scary at all
19 September 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

When a young enthusiastic Jewish-American began this journey into torture porn territory (thank you Eli Roth you schmuck) which is something none of us should be proud of, it signalled a movement of derivation and copycat movies the likes of which haven't been seen since those that followed in the wake of the heady and exciting days of Jason, Michael, and Leatherface in the late 70's / early 80's.

The number of movies that have regurgitated the 'youngsters in peril' storyline have been overwhelmed, if not in number, certainly in the ferocity of their horror, by those now taking young (and old) characters without discrimination and putting them through any number of horrendously painful, vomit-inducing, and gut-churning scenarios to prolong and enhance the pain of death.

With films like Frontieres and Martyrs, the French have begun a renewed journey into the bizarre and gratuitous, last seen in 70's, though oddly the narratives have way more depth than those coming from America and Britain. The Brit attempts at this subversive sub-genre are more lame than a three-legged pony with a limp. The Hike opens with positive intent. It's just that the deaths are glossed over, and merely suggested at. That isn't torture porn and to be honest it's pretty poor for a slasher/psycho type horror too. For one commentator to liken this even remotely to the set up (group of girls) of The Descent is ambitious to say the least. In order to have that sort of impact there needed to be something thoroughly dynamic in the opening 5 minutes.

Director Bryant(Rupert not David) missed a golden opportunity there, and sadly everything goes downhill very rapidly from that point on. The only thing that brought even the remotest interest for me was the walk through the forest to the waterfall which was very reminiscent of Neil Marshall's caving flick. The Hike at that point 'felt' quality. But it didn't last long. The camp scene and onwards to the mid-point at around 40 minutes was as if Bryant studied The Descent frame by frame and basically built his opening 20 minutes around Neil's set up (but without the money to have a log cabin - hell even one of the character's asks if a cabin's where they are sleeping).

The cast (girls) were very pretty, but eye-candy trades off ho-hum as actors. There wasn't one stand out - albeit Stephanie Siadatan was quite the little hottie in her tight hipsters and bikini top. Nedeljakova, probably the biggest name on show, turns in a very ordinary performance. The rest were unrecognisable names that didn't take the opportunity to shine. Shauna MacDonald was easily the best on show brief as her appearance was. But the most annoying thing for me was Pythian - I didn't believe for one minute she was ex-British Army who had served in Afghanistan. Dialogue and some terminologies were forced, inaccurate in a lot of cases. I loved the way she just stared at the map and compass at the start of the trek - no bearings taken, no waypoints marked - a military map would be marked as a matter of process on exercise - once you've done that once it's like muscle memory. Why do filmmakers make stuff with military elements and NOT get technical advice? Saving a buck or two I expect but costing them in authenticity. By far Pythian's 'best' moments were when she was the vulnerable victim, busted, broken, and running scared.

I know that Pythian is some big deal in martial arts but jeez the girl can't seem to act - very one note, monotone delivery. In fight sequences okay, fair enough; combat skills for martial arts movies I can understand. But in this in particular she just didn't cut regular squaddie, Special Forces, AI, or anything remotely connected to military (or police for that matter either). Every film she's in, she's a tough cookie who punches and kicks her way clear of trouble. Sadly it seems fighting skills are ALL she is employed for. If she wants to develop as an actress she needs to take on more roles that allow her acting talents (assuming she has some beyond looking moody) to do the impressing for her.

The guys too were incredibly one note and the story made so obvious even a blind man with a deaf mute dog could've seen what was coming ! The red herring Russian stank so badly it was more kipper ! It made the narrative unbearable - no tension, no terror. Even the gratuitous violence, nudity, and gore failed to appear. I think Bryant bottled it. That's lazy and dismally poor filmmaking. Either set out your stall and deliver or just don't make out you can do what you clearly can't. Shame really because the setting was beautiful and the cinematography was well composed. The DP comes out of this with some credit at least.

How to sum The Hike up? Dismal and lazy that neither delivered on its torture porn potential nor delivered the alternative killer / slasher in the woods – a firework with a lit fuse that 'phuts and fizzles' - extinguishes before the main event. The Descent and Eden Lake plagiarisms are unforgivable - talk about ripping from much better sources. The Hike was predictable, laboured, poorly conceived, poorly cast, and failed to deliver on expectation. Horror of all genres is the one where a known audience exists and where theatrical, DVD, and VOD success can almost be guaranteed.......as long as a filmmaker remembers what audiences want and delivers upon it........even if that delivery comes from left field. The Hike wasn't even in the stadium, and will undoubtedly be consigned to the 'missed by a quarter mile' bin at Blockbusters.


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