By way of disclaimer here, lest my readers think that all I do is sit around and watch movies by a certain actor, you might be right–no, not really! I promise. By way of explanation, being a part of Hallmark’s Crown Media Press has opened my eyes to entertainment that I did not know existed. So as promised, I have another movie review. I doubt I will do justice to this masterpiece, but I will do my best.
Realizing that his marriage is in trouble and that he needs to make an effort to save his family, Daniel heads to a cabin in the woods for a much-needed vacation with his wife Rita, their daughter Frances and her boyfriend Matthew. A couple of days into the trip, Daniel and Rita head off on their own camping trip in hopes of rekindling their romance and end up crashing in the wilderness. Stranded, injured and without a cell phone, they struggle to make their way back to the road in hopes of being rescued. While Daniel and Rita battle to survive both the wilderness and each other, Frances comes to realize that Matthew is not who she thought he was…
Anyone who comes to my blog will know that I generally commence any special review like this with a story. So here goes.
For a few months now, I have been following the career of Sebastian Spence (read my last review of one of his movies here). In that time, I have discovered genuine cinematic gems from his plethora of titles. To be honest, I wonder why I have never seen some of these before. For whatever reason, his movies often go unnoticed by the general public. Or maybe I’ve been living under a rock the past few years. Who knows?
One of my twitter friends (also a die-hard Sebastian fan like me) recommended this film to me, and I wasn’t certain I wished to purchase it since it was not readily available on DVD. I still tend to be “old school,” but I’m learning the value of digital content. After all, I have fully embraced the kindle, and I do see the benefit of digital movies. It certainly reduces the amount of storage needed, a precious commodity in this household.
Anyway, as I have had the pleasure of getting to know Sebastian on twitter, I have become more impressed with his character and tender heart. For him, it has never been about self-promotion on twitter as so many celebrities are doing these days. Granted, I realize the importance of that. After all, an actor’s livelihood depends on the public’s consumption of his work. And I won’t say that this technique does not yield expected fruit. Just look at Hollywood today, and you will see plenty of actors and actresses that have benefited from all kinds of traditional and social media marketing.
Frankly, I do believe that Sebastian’s approach to his fans is unique and highly commendable. He reaches out and invests himself in the lives of his fans, and they tend to respond in kind. I blush to admit just how much my friends and I on twitter discuss him, his work, and most of all, his interactions with each of us. If I were to say that I have been known to discuss this actor for an hour each day (and that’s just on twitter), I would not be lying. To say that he is charming, sincere, kind, and handsome is definitely putting it mildly. The phrase several of my friends have used in referring to him is “heart of gold,” and I couldn’t agree more.
So why did I say all this? Well, ultimately, that is why I purchased this film. Taking the time to send off a few brief words in a tweet that demonstrates how much he cares (and don’t ever question this–he does) causes us to seek out his sometimes hard-to-find works. We constantly watch out for his films coming on television. We alert each other to where one might find these films, and we even discuss his films in detail at times.
At the end of the day, whose strategy is better? Well, self-promotion may bring in the big bucks to be sure. It may mean being able to live the high life and earn you the best this world has to offer, monetarily speaking. However, something tells me that the path which Sebastian has chosen is much more rewarding for everyone involved. I’ll be honest. If he were not as personable with his fans, I doubt I would be as enamored with him and his career. And I can promise you that I never would have had the pleasure of watching this movie. But since Sebastian has allowed us a glimpse of who he is, it’s the least I can do to support his career. In fact, I have been known to say to myself after receiving a very nice tweet from him that I should go spend hundreds of dollars and buy every movie he ever made! (Okay, so I didn’t. But I wanted to!)
Now to the review at hand. Oh, and just to set the record straight, this is now my favorite of Sebastian’s films. In fact, going a step further, it’s easily one of my favorite films period.
From the opening scenes of this film, I was instantly mesmerized. The agitated music sets the tone of the film. In fact, my daughter assumed the film was scary and did not watch it due to the music. (I’ve since told her she would enjoy it. She’s eleven, and it would not be too intense for her.) The few opening scenes of the film only set the stage for the tremendous tale that unfolds.
Although this movie is a few years old, current security breaches that have been reported in the news caused me to instantly connect with the concerns Daniel (Sebastian) had about his company being hacked. And I would tend to think that most can identify with the all-too-common story of a husband who put his career ahead of his family and attempted to fill the void with materialism.
The story that unfolds is gripping, suspenseful, and at times a bit unnerving. We are always assured of the ending, but getting there can be one wild ride. Sometimes even a bit of an emotional roller coaster. However, just about the time you feel that story line is getting a bit too intense, a brilliant bit of humor is inserted to break up the tension. That is one of the strengths of this movie. When you think you are about to begin biting your nails in terror, something is said or done that causes you to relax and smile.
Oh, and lest I forget the other talented actors and actresses in the film, they were all excellent as well. In fact, Charisma Carpenter who played his wife, Rita, was the perfect actress to play opposite him. The interplay and chemistry they displayed on-screen was impeccable.
I will be honest. My mom viewed the film with me, and she had the storyline figured out long before I did. Somehow I think I was too distracted watching a certain actor. However, I guess she must have watched him, too, because she made the most interesting comment about Sebastian. Okay, so this probably shouldn’t go in the review, but I just had to share. Towards the beginning of the film, she asked if I noticed that Sebastian always sits up so straight. She said she noticed it in Cedar Cove too. Goodness, she was right! What kind of fan am I to not notice his perfect posture? Well, I guess the kind that noticed other things besides his posture.
In addition to all of this, the scenery in the film is absolutely breathtaking. I know it was filmed in Vancouver, B.C., but whereabouts I do not know. My mom and I both continued to remark at the absolute splendor of the scenery. Added to everything else, this is a movie not to be missed. A resounding 5 stars indeed!
Oh, and before I forget, for those of you who might be worried about content, there is not need. There is no profanity to speak of nor any bedroom scenes. In fact, there is even an unexpected nod to God that just enlivened my soul.
So if you are interested, be sure to check out and buy the movie at the link below. You will not be sorry!