Desolation Review

A pleasant hiking trip is relaxing to some; however many of us don’t suspect that there will be a serial killer hiding in the woods. This is the premise of Desolation.

Spoilers Ahead

Desolation is a film surrounding a party of three that have gone out for a hiking trip. Two of these three people consists of our two protagonists being a mother and son. Abby had recently lost her husband leaving her to care for their son Sam. With Abby’s friend Jen, Abby and Sam travel alongside Jen to a cliff where they scatter the ashes of Abby’s husband. Abby’s husband was also a hiker and to scatter his ashes in the forest was thought to be the best place.

The trip though would take a sour turn. As Abby and Jen share drinks and a smoke while Sam “slept” found a backpack near their tents. Deciding to leave it alone it is gone in the morning. Traveling back towards their car, they find themselves being followed by a man. The man is seen wearing dark clothing, his hood of his hoodie pulled over his head while wearing aviators. I’m honestly convinced they were trying to make him look like a Rob Zombie replica due to his physical appearance.

Trying to lose their stalker, he does not speak when he is yelled at, he just keeps following. At night is when he strikes, gutting Jen and leaving Abby and Sam on their own. Dealing with the grief of their loss of both friend and father they fight to escape the killers grasp. The story is that of loss, trial and the fear of being hunted.

First look at this I was considering whether to watch it or not as recently on Netflix there has been little to nothing of interest to me, that may also be my cynical side because when you see the same premise ten times you begin to feel bad for the dead horse that is being beaten. However I would give it a chance. I wasn’t 100% disappointed in the film, though from the way it starts I expected a lot more than what I was given. It gave us the inkling that this could end up being a good chase and hunt film, however there was little running. Apparently the killer only likes to strike at night and while you are being hunted its better to take a nice little stroll in the woods like you normally would.

You get a quick general introduction to the characters, however for myself I did not really connect to the characters. You understand the grieving widow and the angry adolescent dealing with the grieving process. And Jen, well you at least find out shes a high school friend who you can have a small two person party with. The killer, we know nothing of. There is no name or background, hes just there. For whatever reason he likes collecting teeth and sawing people in half by starting from the crotch up. Only thing we know is he hates it when you touch his glasses, just because.

The music they have chosen to play in the more intense scenes falls short as the entire time I’m listening to it thinking when more action was going to take place or if the killer would strike again. It’s not terrible and it works with certain scenarios but it works better when you have something actually happen. And of course while watching these scenarios you are thinking why they would going about it the way they are or why didn’t bring more bear mace.

The film itself is slow in the beginning, but once it picks up it can peak the interest of some in terms of wondering if Abby and Sam will survive. Its one of the better films I have found lingering on Netflix. In terms of newer releases. Out of its three assigned genres being horror/drama/thriller, I would take the horror out of the mix. It tries to set itself up as a horror film but due to its content, I would consider it more of a drama/thriller as it is no secret to who the killer is in terms of appearance.


  • A good survival film that includes tragedy into the mix
  • Only consists of four actors giving you a better chance to get to know them in a short period of time
  • Takes place in one large area of the woods giving it a serene setting that soon becomes stained in blood


  • It could have developed the killer more as he does not speak and he lingers in the background until striking


Story - 6
Characters - 6
Acting - 8
Effects - 8
Cinematography - 8
Soundtrack - 6
Drama - 6
Horror - 5
Thriller - 3
B-Rated Horror Movie Enthusiast, currently attending school for my Bachelors in Video Game Art and Design.
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