Director: Rupert Bryan (2011)
Starring: Zara Pythian, Lisa Marie Long, Barbara Nedeljakova
Find it: IMDB
A group of friends retire to the woods for the weekend to indulge in a little camping (or glamping, as I believe the technical term is nowadays*) and the terrible delivery of rubbish lines. There is a little hiking in this film called The Hike, but a lot more camping. In an attempt to replicate The Descent, the characters are all female and are intended to be perceived as 'strong'. But where The Descent showed strength through good writing and characterisation, The Hike simply has its characters kick the shit out of Tamer Hassan during the film's opening moments.
And where The Descent was wonderfully acted, The Hike features the biggest display of group incompetence I have ever seen in a film. Even Shauna MacDonald is terrible during the one scene in which she appears. Of the women, they're mostly indistinguishable from one another. The only characterisation is given to Lady Rambo (whose dead army boyfriend backstory is ridiculous) and the glamour model who happens to be dating Tamer Hassan. Tamer Hassan gives the movie's best performance. If that isn't a damning indictment of The Hike, then I don't know what is.
The horrible acting becomes less noticeable during the horror and action sequences. But maybe I was just distracted by all the rape. Where most backwoods horror flicks tend to give their Hillbillies or their monsters a more colourful motive (usually cannibalism), The Hike is just a rape film. Rape is to The Hike what a chainsaw is to Leatherface. The Hike is a film in which four main characters are raped; with three of those rapes happening at the same time. And one of those victims is actually dead at the time. It's incredibly unpleasant and tremendously dull. It's like Deliverance, except there's no underlying point to any of it, it lasts about twenty minutes and the rapists all deliver stupid monologues as they go. Also, Deliverance was good. This is not good.
What does work: there's a nice twist just before the film gets all rapey. Tamer Hassan (in one of his two appearances) calls a man a fuckin' slag. The poster is really funky. The woods look really nice. You'll actually see a male penis at one point (and not in the context of a rape scene). Whilst I'm not a fan of peni, I do like to see them in horror films, as a counterbalance to all the boobs (mind you, this goodwill is spoiled somewhat by the amount of sexual violence directed towards the ladies later on). Oh, and then I watched The Descent afterwards. Anything that makes me watch The Descent again is a good thing.
Awfully acted, intolerably scripted, offensive, dull and stupid, The Hike is a disappointment. Take a hike, The Hike.