We are forever vigilant, seeking out the very best offerings from streaming sources around the web. This latest pick is Man Vs. from Netflix. Released in 2015 out of Canada by director/story Adam Massey (A Lobster Tale, The Intruders), screenplay Thomas Michael (Transporter tv series, Rainbow Six: Vegas video game), with top shelf cinematographer Miroslaw Baszak (Dawn of the Dead, 300, The Boondock Saints II).
Disclaimer right up front, this is a “found footage” style film. I know there are people who dislike this format and those who get nauseous watching movies made this way. I will say that the whole film is NOT shot this way and it is done with a very good reason behind it that makes sense in the context of the movie.
This article will contain MILD SPOILERS
Chris Diamantopoulos who is best known for playing the voice of Green Arrow in various DC/Warner animated offerings and who was also Moe from the 2012 Three Stooges movie (although you would NEVER recognize him) plays Doug Woods, a Bear Grylls style reality TV star who takes on nature with nothing more than the contents of a single backpack and a set of GoPro cameras (see, I told you there was a reason for the found footage). His latest foray is into the remote wilderness of Northern Canada. Now normally the worst dangers he would face in the Canadian forest are bears who say ‘excuse me’ before eating you and the occasional beer battered moose, but this time out the danger isn’t from any place local. I won’t really go into the storyline or plot, it plays out in a fairly predicable manner, but was still enjoyable enough to keep my attention. Long story short, there is a Tunguska like event that is a precursor to what might be a larger alien invasion taking place all over the Earth. What ends up crashing Doug’s party isn’t from around here and it isn’t happy.
One thing that stood out for me was the very realistic approach to the movie and how everything was shot. What started out as a History Channel live documentary quickly turned in a suspenseful horror/sci-fi movie. Shot in Rockwood Conservation Area, Ontario, Canada there are some really beautiful landscapes that serve as a backdrop for the film. The movie has pretty average effects and I found myself wondering why they didn’t got for practical creature FX instead of CGI. The budgetary restraints of the production were made readily apparent by the lackluster computer graphics. There are a lot of parallels to Predator, it’s just no where near as good. It’s not all bad and certainly worth watching if you are looking for a film that isn’t TOO scary and you have some time to kill.
One last thing, I’m sort of surprised they stuck with this title. Obviously super close to the TV show starring Bear Gryllis, but also so generic it is impossible to find anything online about it easily…you have to sift through so many things that have nothing to do with this film. We’ll keep our eye out for more things to add to your watch list! If you have a favorite that we haven’t covered yet, drop us a line!