It is awards season in the film industry and when trying to find a good hiking or camping movie that did not leave me tucked up in my bedroom peering out the curtains at the horrid outside I found a mix bag. Some had me grabbing my tent poles and pegs while others kept my hiking boots in the cupboard…
After viewing Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours (2010) you might be led to think that the film industry does not exactly want to promote going hiking. Why go explore when you might get your hand stuck under a rock leading to some horrific DIY surgery to break free? Nasty! Based on a true story of real life thrill seeker Aron Ralston, who originally wrote a novel on his experience, aptly entitled Between A Rock And A Hard Place, the ending was a happy one for this daring hero. However there was no happy ending for Christopher McCandless, who was the subject of the adventure film Into The wild (2007), another film based on the true story of a man looking to get back to nature.
[youtube height="HEIGHT" width="WIDTH"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlhLOWTnVoQ[/youtube]
127 Hours Trailer
How about for those campers out there? Fancy a trip to the woods after seeing Friday The 13th (1980), in which a mask donned maniac goes on a killing spree at Camp Crystal Lake. The original was so terrifying for audiences that the killer, Jason Voorhees, came back for more in nine sequels, one spin off and a remake. Then there is The Blair Witch Project (1999), a film that caused a sensation when it first came out after an internet blitz to market it (something that had never really been done before at the time). With its shaky camera movements, tense build up and allegedly (but not really) being compiled of real life found footage, it certainly could send a chill down one’s spine.
Coming out of Hollywood for a moment, have you seen indie British, black comedy Sightseers (2012)? A couple, pleasant on the surface turn a caravan holiday into a blood bath. Hope Berghaus or The North Face made blood stain free jackets for that pair!
Of course, there is the ultimate hiking trilogy that began with, The Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring (2001). What a trek that was!
So, now to pull you out from behind that pillow and reassure you that all is not bad. How about I remind you of films that do show the good in the great outdoors? How about Forrest Gump (1994); remember near the end, when he decides to run across country, why? “I just felt like running”. And when watching Into The Wild or 127 Hours you cannot help but feel the joy the characters are experiencing as they go on their journeys of self-discovery or thrill rides. In the opening of 127 Hours we get to watch Ralston go from the manic city to the calm and serene canyons of Utah and in that moment you are there with him, enjoying the pleasure of being completely free.
And think about why we love watching films in the first place. We want to be taken to a new place on a new adventure and to have a new experience. We love to watch these stories unfold in front of our eyes because humans were meant to explore. But why sit in your bedroom and watch it when you can grab your hiking boots, go out there and live it, see it and experience it for yourself?
Go discover! Just be careful ‘cos I saw this film once where this guy…
Have you seen any of these films? What did you think? Has a film ever popped up in the back of your mind during a hike or expedition?