Bruce Wemple’s ‘The Retreat’ (2020) Movie Review

The Retreat is a brand new horror film written and directed by Bruce Wemple (Monstrous 2020). The film stars Grant Schumacher (Whelm 2019) and Dylan Grunn (Left Hand 2018). The Retreat is now available on DVD and digital.


Set in the Adirondack High Peaks of Upstate New York, two best friends, Gus and Adam, set out for a winter backpacking trip. After a horrifying encounter with a monster, Gus finds himself alone and lost. Now, he must now fight for his life while keeping his grip on reality as he’s tormented both physically and psychologically by the evil Native American legend, The Wendigo.

One of the many things I enjoyed about this movie was the loneliness Gus (Schumacher) felt throughout the film. Watching him slowly lose his mind… even as the viewer, you couldn’t tell what was his reality. It was truly terrifying.

The Retreat reminds me so much of The Descent (2005). Both films have humanoid creatures and center on a group of people, plus the characters are out in nature. Although, The Retreat did its own thing, and did it very well.

I really enjoyed the sound design; it is crisp and natural. The cinematography is also incredible. I paused the film so many times just to look at different shots. The acting is outstanding; Grant Schumacher did a great job at portraying a man who’s on the edge of insanity. His facial expressions during some sequences were so natural and looked effortless.

Another thing that made me a fan of this movie was the abandonment not only the actor feels but also the audience. It almost has a Jaws (1975 – check out  our retro review) formula to it; if the actors feel alone, then so should the audience. The filmmakers did a great job at working with their environment in the middle of the woods in the dead of winter.

The Retreat has some great monsters in it, too. The makeup effects are incredible, and the creature works so well for the environment the characters were put in.

Overall, this film was treat to watch. Bruce Wemple and crew did a wonderful job at showing true insanity mixed with monsters. The Retreat is the perfect movie to watch as we come into wintertime.

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About Anthony Baamonde

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