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Alex and Jenn are seen leaving the city in their SUV headed toward backcountry area. Jenn is seen throughout the beginning glued to her cellphone. They arrive at the visitor center and are greeted by the park ranger. On their first night, deep in the forest, they have an unsettling encounter with Brad, a strange alpha male with eyes for Jenn who may or may not be following them. Alex';;s desire to quickly reach Blackfoot Trail only intensifies. They push further and further into the woods, Alex stubbornly insisting that he remembers the way.
Given that most killer bear movies are either intentionally cheesy or unwittingly inept, it's nice to see a new one that takes the concept seriously and forgoes easy splatter in favor of some strong, simple, sustained suspense.
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.