Wilderness (2006) d. Bassett, Michael J. (UK)
A fine example of what a low budget film can be with solid, gritty acting and excellent use of an outdoor setting. Sean Pertwee plays a tough-nosed prison official who oversees an outing to an isolated island location, attempting to bring unity and team-building skills to his delinquents. When a group of female prisoners is discovered, having coincidentally come to the island for a similar purpose, the tension thickens.
But when the group discovers someone else is also in the woods – armed with a bad attitude and lethal aim with a crossbow – their character-building exercise becomes savage battle for survival against their mysterious assailant, the elements and each other.
A bit clichéd at times, to be sure, but much better than its humble slasher trappings would indicate. Helmed by Michael J. Bassett, who showed his mettle directing ensemble horror with 2002’s Deathwatch, and scripted by first-timer Dario Poloni who would go on to write the well received Black Death four years later.