A group of progressive-minded college students from the city visit a small town in Virginia, with the aim of hiking the Appalachian Trail.
What could possibly go wrong?
The town folk aren’t too friendly, to begin with. There are Confederate flags all over the place. The people seem clannish. And one of the college students seems determined to pick a fight with the locals.
But all of the locals insistently warn the college kids, over and over again, to stick to the tourist route when hiking the trail.
And don’t go up the mountain!
As is always the case in horror movies, though, the protagonists don’t follow sensible advice. Hijinks ensure.
This is a reboot of an earlier film by the same name, which I also saw many years ago. The new reboot, starring Charlotte Vega and Matthew Modine, is better, and more complex.
Reboot or not, the basic idea itself is not original, anyway. If you’ve read Deliverance (or seen the movie), you’ll recognize the setup. A 1981 film called Southern Comfort used a version of the same premise. (Only in that film, the victims of the backwoods brutality were National Guardsmen.)
The conflict between the city and the country is as old as civilization, and certainly as old as America. It is especially acute now, in the midst of the culture wars.
What this movie was not—to its credit—was a simplistic put-down of Southerners or country people. There is a lot more going on than that. Before the end of the movie, we also discover that at least one of the “liberal” college students lacks any sense of integrity when the chips are down.
There are some major plot holes toward the end of the film. But they’re forgivable in the context of an overall plot that is already farfetched.
This is definitely not a boring movie, even if it’s a less than perfect one.
Warning for sensitive/younger viewers: There is no explicit sex, but there is plenty of violence that is often painful to watch. How could there not be, in a movie like this?