A solid premise that was hard to vest interest in given the amount of lazy writing on display.
Humans inner primal instincts will be put to the test when three people go camping out in a closed nature reserve and find themselves being hunted.
This could have been a very compelling thriller had it been done right. But not long into this film you will be able to see, it will not be done right. The first-act starts out with the trio heading into the woods and the dynamic between the group being established. Although the odd actions of the brother-in law (to me) came across as pointless and without direction. Like something to just focus your attention on for awhile only to have that aspect of the script never fleshed out.
This was not a deal-breaker but when the suspense does pick up there were immediately some glaring holes in the plot. Idiotic character decisions that are clearly placed to get the story where the writers want is a pet peeve of mine and this film had many of these moments, as well as some of the classic story-line conveniences that are implausible but still placed in the story to get a shot or scene the writer/director specifically want.
** Spoilers Below **
How many times does a film need to have a character injure his or her enemy then to only turn your back on them to let them get at you. “Preservation” did this a few times and it was more frustrating and annoying than anything else. Also one of the characters stabs an enemy in the lower leg with a big stick and later the guy is barely hobbling. Also there is a scene where one of the characters hides out in the open in a portable toilet rather than the dense forest around him… who would do this?
There were so many moments like this in the course of the script that it simply hindered any of my actual attention being pulled into the story or the setting. Also the more the story expands on the backgrounds of the villains the less intimidating they became. I get the point of what the idea was, but the performances and character casting choices did not help build these antagonists persona from their creation on paper. They all came across as laughable and with them being cast as bumbling one minute and dominant the next did not create the realistic theme the writer wanted it to be.
The end of the film did get better, the lead role played by Wrenn Schmidt was enjoyable. She was the only part of this film that delivered any impact or energy. Regardless of the creativity lacking in the films creation, you could see the effort Schmidt put into her performance. To see her character progress from the beginning to the end is the only reason to see this below average thriller that missed some of its potential without a doubt.
“Preservation” was not horrible and some may enjoy it but (for me) there were too many dumb character actions and massaging of the script for story-line conveniences to really pull my attention. Other than the performance of Schmidt this film will be quickly forgettable.