Main cast: Sean Pertwee (Jed), Alex Reid (Louise), Toby Kebbell (Callum), Stephen Wight (Steve), Luke Neal (Lewis), Ben McKay (Lindsay), Lenora Crichlow (Mandy), Karly Greene (Jo), Adam Deacon (Blue), Richie Campbell (Jethro), John Travers (Dave), and Stephen Don (Dave’s father)
Director: Michael J Bassett
Wilderness attempts to be a daring movie that breaks all the rules and challenges the viewer’s perspective, but it forgets one thing: it is hard for the viewer to be affected by the movie when nearly all the characters in the movie are so hateful that it seems appropriate rather than horrifying when they are subjected to gruesome deaths.
In a corrective center for juvenile delinquents, a young man named Dave commits suicide after a series of relentless bullying by his dorm mates. As a result, the warden Jed is assigned to take Dave’s dorm mates to this isolated island for what seems like a camping session. If that seems like an unnaturally light punishment to you, maybe you will cheer when these loathsome assholes find themselves at the mercy of an apparently omnipotent sniper and his pack of killer dogs. One by one, they begin to die. Painfully and gruesomely. Even a bunch of female juvenile delinquents, led by their tough-as-nuts supervisor Louise, are caught in the crossfire, and they learn to their dismay that the sniper doesn’t discriminate between his intended victims and innocent bystanders. He will let no one leave the island alive.
Apart from the supremely hateful Steve who is played with such over-the-top gusto by Stephen Wight (I worry for the young man – he’s going to get plenty of hate mails from folks who confuse him with his character in this movie), the rest of the cast are mostly bland assholes. The potentially interesting ones don’t live long enough to become memorable. Steve, on the other hand, is such a vile and loathsome piece of dung that my only regret is that he doesn’t suffer long enough to my satisfaction. Seriously, while the other characters are vile, this guy is one of the most disgusting characters I have ever come across in any movie. I would have cheered, I tell you, if I am presented with a scene of him being ripped apart by the dogs right before the sniper unzips his pants and urinate on that human turd’s face because Steve is truly that hateful. Needless to say, this movie troubles me because the most memorable character in the movie stirs up in me extremely violent feelings to inflict great pain on that character.
This movie has plenty of gore, which I suppose is the best reason to watch it in the first place. I’m hoping for some substance to go with the gore and rampant politically incorrect elements in this movie, but alas, I don’t find any here.
And while we’re at it, can someone please give the adorable Sean Pertwee a role where he actually survives to the very end? The poor darling, his characters never catch a break.