“Two estranged brothers reunite at their childhood home in the Alaskan wild. They set out on a two-day hike and are stalked by an unrelenting grizzly bear.”

Director: David Hackl
Writers: Guy Moshe, J.R. Reher
Staring: James Marsden, Thomas Jane, Piper Perabo, Scott Glenn, Billy Bob Thornton
Streaming: Netflix
Release Date: August 4, 2015

I turned on Into The Grizzly Maze (2015) and my girlfriend said “Hey, I know these people.” There are a lot of recognizable names in the Grizzly Maze, but notability is not equitable to success on the screen. Though let’s be honest here, did we tune into this movie expecting top-end talent?

(The answer is no.)

Rowan (James Marsden) is returning to his Alaskan hometown to look for a lost friend in the deep woods. He thought he had escaped his origins but upon returning he is thrusted into past relationships that still have an effect on him. Rowan must work with his estranged brother Beckett (Thomas Jane), his close female friend Michelle (Piper Perabo), Beckett’s deaf wife Kaley (Michaela McManus) and renowned bear hunter Douglass (Billy Bob Thornton) to survive a two-day hike against a violent, vengeful, massive grizzly bear.

It is an absurd premise for a movie. Let’s just put that out here now. Speaking personally, I am a fan of monster movies. I will really turn any of them on and let them numb my brain. I have seen plenty of bad ones, and Into The Grizzly Maze is not the worse. It is not Crawl (2019), but it is serviceable for its reliable formula.

What does Into The Grizzly Maze have? Everything you expect.

  • A pretty leading character with a turbulent pass and relationships to mend.
  • A monster that is killing at will that is “smarter than your average” killing machine
  • A over-confident monster hunter who is humbled when it comes clobbering time
  • A member of the endangered team getting hurt and hindering an escape
  • A team-up at the end to help achieve success for some when nothing seems viable

Director David Hackl is a five-time movie director and Into The Grizzly Maze is the second on his ledger. Hackl’s first directing job was Saw V (2008). For those counting, that is seven years between projects. None of his movies have higher than his first professional attempt.

It was shocking to see Scott Glen in a movie like this. I will always just remember him for his tracking of Hannibal Lector as Jack Crawford back in the early 1990s, and this is a great departure from that quality of acting and movie. Lead actor James Marsden was the lead actor in four movies this summer, non of which were high profile at all. This is before he had his Westworld blowup. Though, I must admit that I do associate him with the 2011 horror movie remake Straw Dogs. Why? I couldn’t tell you. Thomas Jane has a face every remembers, and even more so for Billy Bob Thornton. It was a filler movie for some people who wanted to take a trip to Alaska.

STANKO RATING: D+ (2.0/5 Stars)


Stanko Excel Lists | Movies, Books, Podcasts. TV Shows
Stanko Letterdbox Account

“Stanko’s Stance” Podcast Feed (Apple)
“Stanko’s Stance” Podcast Feed (Spotify)


NFL Championship Round Picks

Divisional Round Recap Straight Up: 1-3-0Against The Spread: 2-2-0Mortal Lock: 0-1-0 (Tennessee -4.0) Sunday, January 23 Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs (-7.0) Straight Up: Kansas City Chiefs*Against The Spread: Cincinnati Bengals (+7.0)* *Mortal Lock* San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams (-3.5) Straight Up: San FranciscoAgainst The Spread: San Francisco (+3.5) Last Week Divisional […]

“Cry Wolf” | Comforting Mid-2000s Horror Sleaziness

“Eight unsuspecting high school seniors at a posh boarding school, who delight themselves on playing games of lies, come face-to-face with terror and learn that nobody believes a liar – even when they’re telling the truth.” Director: Jeff WadlowWriter: Jeff Wadlow, Beau BaumanStaring: Julian Morris, Lindy Booth, Jared Padalecki, Jon Bon Jovi, Gary ColeRelease Date: […]

“The Eyes Of Tammy Faye” | Chastain Carries Story Of Greed

“An intimate look at the extraordinary rise, fall and redemption of televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker.” Director: Michael ShowalterWriters: Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato, Abe SylviaStaring: Jessica Chastain, Andrew Garfield, Cherry Jones, Vincent D’OnofrioRelease Date: September 17, 2021 This is the story of Tammy Faye Bakker and her husband Jim Bakker. Together these two religious personalities came […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s