Film Review: Backcountry

I watched Backcountry on the weekend with my boyfriend, and despite not really knowing what the film was about prior to viewing it, the film was very well done. Backcountry depicts the story of a couple (Alex and Jen) who embark on a camping trip in Northern Canada. Alex refuses to purchase a map of the park before him and Jen begin making their way through the forest as he is confident he remembers the park from when he was younger, but the couple soon become lost. The two of them spend an evening in an isolated area in hopes of designating their surroundings the next morning and making their way back to their vehicle, but a black bear finds them and attacks, leaving Jen severely injured and killing Alex. The remainder of the film conveys Jen attempting to find her way out of the park, starving, dehydrated and injured, and concludes with her being discovered by a fellow camper her and Alex meet in the beginning scenes of the film.

Backcountry is loosely based on the true story regarding Jacqueline Perry and Mark Jordan and their camping adventure within the region of Chapleau, Ontario. Both Jacqueline and Mark were attacked and Jacqueline eventually succumbed to her injuries before she and her husband could receive adequate medical attention. Mark managed to carry Jacqueline to a nearby kayak despite being gravely injured himself however Jacqueline passed before they could reach shore. Both Mark and Jacqueline were thirty years of age when they were attacked (the incident occurred in 2005) and my mom actually read a memorial for Jacqueline in the Brantford Expositor, our city’s newspaper, several days ago.

The attack that occurred on Mark and Jacqueline’s camping trip was incredibly rare considering black bears typically do not attack humans. Mark actually stabbed the bear five or six times with a Swiss army knife he was carrying in an attempt to save Jacqueline’s life, and I believe these two individuals deserve tremendous respect and furthermore recognition for their bravery and diligence in such a tragic scenario. Backcountry does not adhere to Mark and Jacqueline’s story exactly, however if it were not for this film I would not have learned about the true story that occurred and I therefore recommend viewing this film.

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