Macabre…ish Horror Review: The Retreat



The Retreat, 2020/ 88 min


Groom and best man, Adam (Dylan Grunn) and Gus (Grant Schumacher) and go on a pre-wedding winter hike through the Adirondacks, in place of a bachelor party. They’re up dark and early to get through their 6 mile hike to the site. And immediately, Gus feels like they’re being followed.

The conversation veers off into stories of Wendigo and Wendigo madness, once they get to the location, offers up a little recreational beverage, psychedelic tea and just in time for sun down. Oh and they know nothing about this tea or what the effects will be or how long it’ll last. Gus just got it from a friend the night before.

Later that night, something or someone wakes Gus up. Then he sees what it was, right up close because it attacks him but Gus stabs it. Still, something in the woods, with antlers, watches and it’s not an animal.

The next morning Gus wakes up covered in blood and Adam is gone. Something terrible has happened and he dreams and sees an antlered being everywhere. And he’s being hunted by that creature again, all the way back to the cabin.

He’s still hallucinating, talking to his hallucinations and having flash backs. Fear, starvation and guilt are eating him up. Then one day he looks outside and sees Adam’s body in the snow.

Later he wakes up in a strange bed and a man who explains to him about the Wendigo and how his wife was lost to it, plus a warning. “Get your story straight.” There are police, a therapist and struggle to understand what has happened…

…then he wakes…he wakes up. And wakes up. Always to a different reality. A different possibility. A different location. Different people. A different story.

This movie is better than expected! It’s not bloody or gory but there are FX, jump scares and a few monsters. Also the different directions are really nicely done, well fleshed out and kind of trippy. It’s a psychological horror more than anything and I could not tell where it was going, until it got there. Pay attention or you’ll miss it and you’ll be lost. I enjoyed it, well done!