After being released from prison, Rowan (Marsden) returns to his remote childhood home in Alaska looking for his pal, Johnny Cadillac (Beach), who went missing when taking out some poachers. After being reunited with his estranged brother Deputy Sheriff Beckett (Jane) the two are forced to work together when a nasty grizzly starts to wreak havoc on the small town. The two head into the labyrinthine Grizzly Maze (forest) to find the Sheriff’s wildlife photographer wife Michelle (Perabo) but soon find themselves on the run from a massive killer bear. As the body count rises and bear hunter (Thornton) enters determined to take down the bear he’s been waiting for his whole life, no one is safe in the harsh Alaskan wilds.
In terms of characters there are brothers played by Marsden and Jane who argue just as two brothers would, Perabo character as Beckett’s deaf mute wife is never really developed and her deafness appearing only as a way to put her in more danger. These characters work together well as they struggle for survival. Then you throw in Billy Bob Thornton as an arrogant and cocky huntsman and the mayhem increases. The film’s biggest star is the bear and as you would expect there is plenty of carnage to be made with bodies ripped apart and a severed arm still gripping its chainsaw. Billy Bob’s facial wound is also pretty nasty.
The scenery is beautiful at times with stunning hills and mountains, although the forest itself has no striking features. There are moments CGI is blended with reality, particularly when the bear pounces on its prey. Although this creates some effective moments that will make you jump, there are others that are unconvincing. In the last fifteen minutes where the characters are in a close confrontation with the bear, the attack scenes do use CGI for obvious reason, however they don’t blend seamlessly with live footage; the concluding beach scene particularly. Overall, this fast-paced and action-packed movie will leave you entertained and yet terrified of going off into the woods by yourself.
Review by Michelle Moore
[SRA value=”2″ type=”BIG”]
Into The Grizzly Maze arrives on digital platforms August 3rd and Blu-ray and DVD August 17th 2015.