Written and directed by: Christopher Denham
I know, I know. This movie has been out for a while. Somehow though it escaped me, and I only just found it while searching Netflix for something to watch. I checked out a couple of reviews (which were mixed, to say the least), and decided why not? So, without further adieu, here’s what I thought.
The film begins with two brothers, Mike (Staton) and Sean (Schreiber) driving down dirt roads in a beat up truck. After a few minutes of them talking about the horrible little ass holes they were when they were kids, we discover they are not alone. Mike’s wife, Wit (Schmidt) is in the back seat and is none too thrilled about her weekend getaway with her husband becoming a family hunting trip. Nevertheless, they reach the nature reserve (which is closed) and set up camp.
I am going to take a break from the plot here to talk about my issue with the first act. Although acted well by all three actors, the two male characters seem very unlikeable, from the beginning. They laugh at Youtube videos of cats being tortured, tell stories about messing with their dad, and explain at length how they used to kill squirrels for fun. I just had a hard time understanding why director Christopher Denham opted to portray two of his three protagonists as… well… dicks. Sean even has a weird obsession with his brother’s wife which, while it never becomes a huge part of the story, irked me.
Anyway, on their first day there, the brothers convince Wit to try her hand at hunting. Ultimately, she can’t kill a deer which leads to ex-marine Mike telling the story of Artimus, to give an example of killing rather than being killed. All the while, unbeknownst to the trio, they are being watched by unknown masked men. The next morning, they wake up to find all of their gear missing, including cell phone, water, and guns. Basically, they are screwed.
The second half of the film amps up the violence, when it becomes a real life game of manhunt. Soon, Wit is forced to decide whether she will hunt or be the hunted. The final leg of the film (by far the best) features a deadly game of cat and mouse that was insanely fun.
“Preservation” is not perfect by any means. There are the aforementioned issues as well as some down right silly moments of poor decision making by the two brothers. That being said, I really enjoyed this movie. It may be the fact that I have an insanely strong ability to suspend disbelief. It may be the fact that I LOVE a bad ass chick (which Wrenn Schmidt does a wonderful job portraying) that goes survivalist/revenge mode on some killers. Whatever the case, I like “Preservation” as a tense, chase thriller with some really strong acting and nice cinematography (thanks to Nicola Marsh). And, it is free to watch on Netflix streaming! If you are in the mood for something that is tense and exciting but doesn’t make you think a ton, check it out.