Eye For Film >> Movies >> Wild Country (2005) Film Review
Reviewed by: Chris Brooks
It's nice to see a film that isn't big budget sometimes, especially when most of the actors are from your home city. Well, for me at least, this was the case with Wild Country.
It's the story of a group of Glaswegian teenagers who go on a church-organised hike into the wild and woolly Scottish Highlands. As they make their way over the rough terrain, they stumble across an abandoned baby and soon find themselves been hunted by something that should not be there. They try to escape through various twists and turns that I shouldn't go into, cumulating in a big surprise that will catch you off guard and leave you a little confused.
The story is good, if a little hard to understand, especially at the end, but on the whole solid and absorbing. Visually the locations are wonderful, that is to say untamed, like a wilderness.
The movie has set out to explore the themes of teenage pregnancy, relationships and the role of the church over young mothers. If you are extremely religious, this may not be for you because the priest is cast in anything but an affectionate light. The film does however, make you think about these issues and will leave you asking all sorts of questions you hadn't thought important before.
Wild Country involves a mix of local actors and some slightly better known, but all use the local patter perfectly, and, as someone who listens to Glaswegians every day, I found that the slang held a lot of little jokes that only someone who was used to it would be able to understand. That's not to say that outsiders won't enjoy the jokes. In fact, there's humour dotted throughout the film, even in situations where it isn't really needed.
Those who have kept in touch with British horror will know Dog Soldiers and Craig Strachan's film feels very reminiscent of Neil Marshall's 2002 debut. The idea of a wilderness location and being chased by some supernatural force will surely seem familiar. However, the CGI effects are somewhat disappointing, with the monsters looking a bit... how should I put it?... unrealistic? Which is a shame.
Despite everything, Wild Country is definitely worth seeing, not only for people in Glasgow - especially them - but also the wider public. It makes a nice change to see a low budget British flick actually making a fist of it.
Think of Dog Soldiers, without the guns.Reviewed on: 15 Feb 2006