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film review

Backcountry, starring Jeff Roop and Missy Peregrym, tests a couple’s relationship and survival skills.Lindsay Sarazin

By the time the big scene comes in Backcountry, and all the suggested menace of the previous hour rips through the tent Jenn (Missy Peregrym) and Alex (Jeff Roop) have built to protect themselves from nature without and within, you're almost relieved. As intense as the event may be, it means your nerves can stop snapping with every twig underfoot.

A nature-bites-back movie that sends a terminal-stage romance on a camping expedition that will see the elements provide a kind of ultimate last date, Backcountry thrives in the close-quarter details: the verbal knife-pricks of a dying relationship, the jangling impact of the smallest sounds breaking silence, that dread certainty that you're completely lost and it's getting dark.

Fear is the anticipation of horror, and it's this movie's prime evil: not what happens inside the tent, but what might be making that noise outside.