Film, Headlines, Ottawa Revue, pRevue, Rev, Reviews, Showcase, The Revue, Video — November 17, 2015 at 4:46 pm

CHECK MATE – Man Vs. – film review



director: Adam Murray   

Back in 1971 at the Crystal Palace Bowl Garden Party, Pink Floyd slipped dry ice in the lake to kick off their very loud set, killing all the fish. There’s a scene in “Man Vs.” where a loud explosion is followed by ex-fish floating on the surface of a lake. Sadly, this is no trippy Pink Floyd concert movie, but a bizarre survival man reality show gone awry. Gone very, very awry.

Armed only with a handful of video cameras, tv reality star Doug is dropped in a remote Northern Ontario location to film his five day survival escursion. Doug is smart, resourceful and quite handy. He builds a nice shelter, starts a fire with a pop can, traps rabbits, and plays chess solitaire.

This makes for a very informative YouTube instructional, but a rather dull movie, so director/writer Adam Massey decides to turn this pleasant little nature adventure upside down.

Doug soon finds himself not so alone in the remote wilderness, but is a little daft in putting together all the clues: the boom, dead fish in lake, his sat phone disassembled, chess board maneuvres, life sized rabbit traps. He thinks he’s in “Deliverence”, but we know better.

The lead up is well structured, with just the right amount of mystery and suspense, but the final, over the top reveal is a bit of a clunker. A more ambiguous ending would have worked wonders.


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  1. This movie was good for the most part.
    Here is the one major problem I have…in the scene after he gets out of the lake and is climbing up the hill to the right of his head in the background you can see two cars driving on an obvious road which just killed the movie for me.Definitely an editing issue there that should have been caught way before the movie was released.

  2. Jenny BomBerry

    I really liked this movie! It kept my interest from beginning to end…watched it several times on TV…its motive kept me wondering about “creature”

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