×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Wilderness

While it makes no pretense of being anything other than a schlocky slash-'em-up horror flick, "Wilderness" nevertheless marks a substantial improvement over helmer Michael J. Bassett's poor debut "Deathwatch." Pic was practically lost in the B.O. chart wilderness after its opening weekend in Blighty, but should make good on ancillary.

With:
With: Sean Pertwee, Alex Reid, Toby Kebbell, Stephen Wight, Luke Neal, Ben McKay, Lenora Crichlow, Karly Greene, Adam Deacon, Richie Campbell, Stephen Don, John Travers.

While it makes no pretense of being anything other than a schlocky slash-’em-up horror flick, “Wilderness” nevertheless marks a substantial improvement over helmer Michael J. Bassett’s poor debut “Deathwatch.” This modestly-budgeted yarn about a motley crew of juvenile delinquents who get stranded on a remote island with a killer after them will deliver sufficient gore, cheap laughs and programmatic shocks to amuse its target teen aud. Pic was practically lost in the B.O. chart wilderness after its opening weekend in Blighty where it took some £9,000 ($16,000) off 10 screens, but should make good on ancillary.

Prologue set in a Young Offenders Institute establishes the ruthless bullying among the teen inmates — particularly from thuggish but quick on the quip skinhead Steve (impressive presence Stephen Wight) and his sidekick Lewis (Luke Neal) — that leads one vulnerable boy, Davie (John Travers), to slit his wrist in the dorm one night.

In order to teach the kids “a bloody lesson,” gruff guard Jed (Sean Pertwee, reviving memories of his turn in “Dog Soldiers” which “Wilderness” strongly resembles) is assigned to lead six of Davie’s fellow dorm mates on an expedition to an uninhabited island where team-building skills are to be learned through outdoorsy challenges.

Turns out the island has been double-booked for a similar exercise for two femme young offenders (Lenora Crichlow, Karly Greene) under the supervision of tough but fair Gulf War veteran Louise (Alex Reid, still in toned condition after “The Descent”).

The combined brood is learning the hard way about cooperation, when an ace archer starts firing at them with a crossbow and his pack of vicious German shepherds attacks. As the characters are picked off one by one in increasingly gruesome ways (well rendered by prosthetic make-up artist Geoff Portass), tough-nut loner Callum (Toby Kebbell) emerges as a natural leader, albeit with serious anger-management issues.

Tight, by-the-book script, credited to Dario Poloni, moves the action at a predictable clip, and knows when to pause for a tension-breaking wisecrack from one of the ensemble or a quieter spooky moment.

Casting directors should take note of pic given its promising young talents, notably Kebbell and Wight.

A few too-many lazily assembled hyper-fast montages are deployed to create shock and awe in the dog-attack sequences, but otherwise tech package is fine.

Wilderness

U.K.

Production: A Momentum Pictures release (in U.K.) of a Momentum Pictures presentation, in association with the U.K. Film Council, Baker Street, Northern Ireland Film and TV Commission, of an Ecosse Films, Take Partnerships production. Produced by Robert Bernstein, Douglas Rae, John McDonnell. Executive producers, Bill Allan, Ivan MacTaggart, Emma Hayter, Nicole Finnan. Directed by Michael J. Bassett. Screenplay, Dario Poloni.

Crew: Camera (Technicolor), Peter J. Robertson; editor, Kate Evans; music, Mark Thomas; production designer, Tom McCullagh; art director, Heather Greenlees; costume designer, Hazel Webb-Crozier; prosthetic make-up, Geoff Portass; sound (Dolby Digital), Ronan Hill; supervising sound editor, Nick Adams. Reviewed at Odeon Mezzanine Theater, London, Aug. 13, 2006. Running time: 94 MIN.

With: With: Sean Pertwee, Alex Reid, Toby Kebbell, Stephen Wight, Luke Neal, Ben McKay, Lenora Crichlow, Karly Greene, Adam Deacon, Richie Campbell, Stephen Don, John Travers.

More Film

  • Glass Movie

    Box Office: 'Glass' Shines Overseas With $48.5 Million Weekend

    After autobots and aquatic kings have dominated foreign markets over the past few weeks, a different kind of hero has risen to the top of box office charts. M. Night Shyamalan’s “Glass” is the new champ overseas, pulling in $48.5 million from international territories. The supernatural thriller, a sequel to 2000’s “Unbreakable” and 2016’s “Split,” debuted [...]

  • Yalitza Aparicio as Cleo, Marco Graf

    'Roma' and 'The Favourite' Lead London Critics' Circle Winners

    After ruling the U.S. critics’ award circuit, “Roma” continued its dominance on the other side of the pond, as the London Film Critics’ Circle announced its winners tonight. A week after landing seven BAFTA nominations, Alfonso Cuarón’s Mexico City memory piece landed film of the year and director of the year honors from the group [...]

  • M. Night Shyamalan Should Stop Writing

    The Big Twist M. Night Shyamalan Needs: He Should Stop Writing His Own Scripts (Column)

    Quick, name the greatest film by each of the following directors: Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, David Lean, Robert Altman, Roman Polanski, Kathryn Bigelow, Jonathan Demme. Answers will vary (mine would be: “Citizen Kane,” “Psycho,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “Lawrence of Arabia,” “Nashville,” “Chinatown,” “The Hurt Locker,” “The Silence of the Lambs”), but whatever your [...]

  • Andy Vajna Dead: 'Rambo' Producer and

    Andy Vajna, 'Rambo' Producer, Dies at 74

    Andy Vajna, executive producer of several “Rambo” films as well as “Total Recall” and several “Terminator” movies, has died at 74. The Hungarian National Film Fund confirmed his death, calling him a “dominant figure in the Hungarian and international film industry” who was responsible for the development of the fund. With partner Mario Kassar, Vajna [...]

  • Glass trailer

    Box Office: 'Glass' Dominates MLK Weekend With $47 Million

    M. Night Shyamalan’s “Glass” topped box office charts during the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, collecting $40 million over the weekend for a four-day sum of $47 million. If estimates hold, “Glass” will come in behind “American Sniper” ($107 million) and “Ride Along” ($48 million) as the third-best showing for both January and MLK holiday [...]

  • FICG Names Estrella Araiza As New

    Estrella Araiza To Head Up Guadalajara Intl Film Festival

    The Guadalajara Intl. Film Festival (FICG) has announced that Estrella Araiza, until now the festival’s head of industry and markets and director of the Guadalajara IntL. Film Festival in Los Angeles, has been promoted to the position of general director of the prominent Mexican festival. She replaces Ivan Trujillo, appointed director of TV UNAM. Araiza [...]

  • 'St. Bernard Syndicate' Review: A Quietly

    Film Review: 'St. Bernard Syndicate'

    John C. Reilly and Steve Coogan may have received major award nominations this season for their fine work in “Stan & Ollie,” but there’s arguably a superior Laurel & Hardy tribute act to be found in the droll Danish comedy “St. Bernard Syndicate.” As a pair of bumbling losers who turn an already dubious business [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content