Two brothers drive to a family event with their ladies to end up stranded in a small wooded area.
When a big bear surprises the group, the poor animal is welcomed with a few caps in its ass. With the ammo spent, the group of 4 return to their vehicle only to be confronted by Mr Bear (husband of dead Mrs Bear) who is bigger, badder and eager to hurt them all real bad.
Tension in the group doesn’t help the situation. The two brothers are insanely jealous of each other for random reasons and spend most of the film sniping at each other.
Meanwhile the ladies sit, looking-on quite helplessly, hoping that the men can find a way to out-fox the determined beast. Eventually turning to the bottle and discussions about their sex lives.
After a while, it’s almost as if all of them have forgotten that their lives are at risk. But while they chatter on, Mr Bear does nothing but plan how best to freak them out. No human deterants or weapons are going to stop him from getting sweet, chewy, human flavoured revenge.
So, the initial reaction is to be put off a little by the film’s simple name. But as the feature begins, there is a glimmer of hope. It seems that we’re watching at a decent production. Nice camera work, good scenery, a decent enough plot.
As the dialogue begins, something slips a little. It’s hard to put your finger on it but something about the acting, script and a couple of the camera angles gives away that in fact, this isn’t a big budget blockbuster after all.
But, we’ve all seen worse and the pace soon picks up.
The performances are good enough – special mention to Mr Bear – and yeah, bears are scary, so when he’s chewing at the wing mirror, the viewer can’t help but be excited (in a scared way) by it.
However, the slight flaw to this film becomes evident at a critical time.
Just when you’re ready for some serious biting, stabbing, running and screaming, something weird happens – dialogue.
Followed by more dialogue. And not necessarily dialogue about the bear, but dialogue about the car; the brothers and their failed careers; the expectations of their parents; Sam and Liz’s troubles in the bedroom; concerns about Christine’s drug and alcohol use; and ultimately a huge piece of family gossip that it would be wrong to spoil for you.
Problem is, this is a film about a bear wanting to eat 4 people. It’s not a soap opera.
And although a bit of back-fill is great in horror movies, this one really goes too overboard. After a while you could say, it’s hard to ‘bear’ (ha ha).
It’s a shame because there are some great elements there. The idea is strong enough, the acting is sufficient and there are some nasty moments.
But when you’re in a group that is slowly being picked off by a huge killer bear, would you be concerning yourself with sibling rivalry? Unlikely.
And once you’re made aware of these details, it’s hard, as the viewer, to concentrate on this battle of survival. How can you worry about bears when Sam and Nick are late for Dad’s party and everything?
Bear is entertaining, but perhaps not for the reasons that it was intended to be.
It’s not going to keep you awake at night, not even if you’re staying in a tent in some woods at the time.
Bear is out to buy on DVD on 3rd May.