Years ago Nina (Mirrah Foulkes) lost her sister. Her beloved sibling had gone to find a rare breed of tiger in the Tasmanian forests but was found dead in a lake. Officials ruled it as an accidental drowning but evidence suggested otherwise.

Years later Nina decides to resume her late sister’s search for the Tasmanian tiger with her boyfriend, Matt (Leigh Whannell). Matt’s buddy Jack (Nathan Phillips) provides the transportation and Jack’s girlfriend, Rebecca (Melanie Vallejo) rounds out the quartet of tiger hunters. And just like Nina’s sister this group will stumble across a more rare and mysterious find that is far more ferocious than a feline.

Does Anyone Else Hear Banjos Playing? - Nathan Phillips as Jack

In the tradition of other woodland horror flicks like Wrong Turn and Turistas this “Film To Die For” places a bunch of city slickers into an unfamiliar and remote environment. The locals take advantage of the travelers’ naivete and by the time the newbies realize what’s happening it’s too late. The trap is already sprung. There are no security phones or local law enforcement patrols to save them. They can either fight back or die. Running away only prolongs the inevitable execution.

I must admit that though this is familiar territory Dying Breed was one of the most impressive of the Horrorfest III selections and came closest to being a “Film To Die For”.

The film had a lot of classic ingredients for a good scary movie such as the disturbing legend of Alexander Pearce. In an early flashback we learn that back in the 1800s Pearce escaped a penal colony. He had no qualms about eating his way out even if it meant another person’s flesh was on the menu.
The film takes that legend a step further by establishing a twisted family tree for Pearce where his unusual appetites are passed down from one generation to the next. Kind of similar to Leatherface’s folk.

The explorers are your traditional horror movie archetypes. Nina is very driven, intelligent and is all about the tiger. Matt is her sweet yet passive boyfriend who is kinda of nerdy but rises to the occasion when danger looms. Rebecca nabs “cutie duty” so you know she won’t make it to the end. The cheerful one rarely does especially since she has a quick shag session with Jack. And Jack. Ah, Jack is so incredibly obnoxious and manic from his first scene that I hoped he would be the first to be done in. He really is that annoying. I think it’s scarier that people like Jack truly exist in the real world. Ugh!

For The Last Time, I Am Not Welcoming You To Jurassic Park! Anymore Questions? - Mirrah Foulkes as Nina

The voyage into the woods is a popular horror location. No phone signals. No Holiday Inn. Just the serenity of the outdoors and the menace waiting in the bushes. The main monster knows the forest like the back of his bloody hands so of course the visitors are at a number of disadvantages which makes them easy prey.

Not a lot of gore but the carnage that’s shown is pretty neat. One scene shows a poor sap getting a bear trap to the foot and head while another unfortunate gets an arrow through the mouth. Gore hounds won’t find a lot of blood and guts but what is shown is tastefully done.

Dying Breed is an enjoyable mish-mash of horror traditions rolled into one film. While not completely flawless it does stand out amongst the lesser films in the Horrorfest III collection. Plus, the film has more than the 3rd Annual Miss Horrorfest webisodes for bonus features. The DVD / Blu Ray also includes a behind the scenes featurette and the theatrical trailer.

Part of the After Dark Films “Horrorfest III: 8 Films To Die For” Series