Our Rating: ★★★½☆
L Factor: Minor lesbian content
Short Take: Three girls, one guy and a death in the woods
Alternate Titles:
Year: 2004
Duration: 78 min
Language: USA/English
MPAA: R
Director: Eli B. Despres, Kim Roberts
Writer: Eli B. Despres, Kim Roberts
Starring: Jeanette Brox, Megan Henning, Ali Humiston, James Morrison

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Wilderness Survival for GirlsThree teenage girls alone in an isolated Colorado cabin without cell phone reception. A story about a crazed killer who murdered a couple just a few miles away … the perfect setup for a classic slasher film. But to its credit, Wilderness Survival for Girls goes down a different path, becoming a psychological thriller with a unique twist.

Deb, Kate and Ruth are three very different young women who come together for a weekend trip in the mountains. Ruth is the brainy, gullible virgin; Kate doesn’t seem to fit in anywhere; and Deb is worldly, with a troubled home life.

Into this odd threesome steps Ed, a guy who is unlucky enough to be squatting in the cabin. Afraid that this man is a killer, the girls hold him at gunpoint with his own gun, hoping to get to the police in the morning. But after a night of smoking pot, the girls’ decision making is less than stellar. In fact, their stupidity is quite maddening, but key to moving the story along.

Kate and Deb go looking for a phone at a nearby empty cabin, inexplicably leaving naïve Ruth alone to hold the gun on Ed. Deb takes the opportunity to kiss Kate, who is willing participant, but Kate kills the mood by saying she isn’t a lesbian but doesn’t mind having sex with her friend. That doesn’t work for Deb, but afterwards, she seems more comfortable with herself for broaching the subject.

Meanwhile, Ruth lets Ed go, setting up a rather shocking ending. Who is the good guy and who is the bad guy? The end will certainly make you think – even though you do have to sit through some unlikely and frustrating plot points to get there. (AB)