See, this is why I don’t go camping.
In its opening half-hour (the film saves its explicit violence, including quite a bit of gore, for its final 30 minutes), Backcountry conjures a series of terrors about being in the middle of nowhere—in this case, a Canadian forest. Is the aggressive stranger with the survivalist knife following you? Are those sounds at night really acorns falling from trees? Has that deer carcass been slaughtered by an animal with large claws? And what exactly lurks outside the circle of light afforded by your campfire at night? These wilderness anxieties are enhanced by the transparently empty bravado of Alex (Jeff Roop), who is dragging girlfriend Jenn (Missy Peregrym) in the direction of a remote lake, a place fondly (but not too exactly) remembered from his childhood.