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Wilderness - Review

Sean Pertwee in Wilderness

Review by Richard Goodwin

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Cast & Crew Interviews; Behind The Scenes Footage; Trailers.

AFTER brutalising a fellow inmate at a youth offender’s institution a group of male young offenders are sent to an uninhabited island as punishment for his resultant suicide.

Led by warden Sean Pertwee, the group encounter a similar group of girls on the island under the supervision of Louise (Alex Reid).

Expecting a group bonding-style weekend, they soon discover that they’re not alone on the island and, before long, are being hunted by a particularly sadistic psychopath equipped with crossbow and assorted booby traps.

Infighting soon breaks out among the inmates as they attempt to survive and ultimately escape the island.

Michael J. Bassett (of Deathwatch fame) directs this Brit horror flick with economy and flare, creating a taut, edgy atmosphere that never lets up.

He’s aided by an accomplished young British cast led by more experienced pro’s Sean Pertwee and Alex Reid.

Of the younger stars, Toby Kebbell gives a brooding performance as loner Callum, and there’s notable support from Stephen Wight as the unstable bully of the group.

Wilderness boasts a number of tense set pieces that are punctuated by some truly gruesome deaths (watch out for a particularly gory ravenous dog-aided disembowelment) that should keep gore hounds satisfied.

The film doesn’t quite reach the heights of recent British horror efforts such as The Descent, however, as much of the good work is undone by an underwhelming plot twist that ultimately leaves the film limping towards something of an anti-climax.

It also suffers from the fact that there’s nothing new here – the Lord of the Flies influence is particularly keenly felt – leading to a nagging feeling of déjà vu for any self respecting horror fan.

But for anyone willing to take such criticisms in their stride, Wilderness is suitably gruesome and tense throughout and a worthy addition to the recent British horror revival.