Into the Grizzly Maze has quite an impressive cast. James Marsden, Thomas Jana, Scott Glenn, Billy Bob Thornton, Billy Piper and Adam Beach. For a while it tricked me into believing I was dealing with an A title. But no folks, this is a B movie through and through and maybe better for it.
And yes at first glance it does look like it is offering all of the yummy B movie goodness one could expect. Sadly though Into the Grizzly Maze is holding back a little too often and does not go full out when it should. It dwells too much into the background story of the main character Rowan played by James Marsden making you believe there is something significant coming related to him. Only it never does. In fact it does not really matter much. Basically making every context related to his character filler and useless. There were some nice dynamics between the characters and I wished there was more of it. Instead we get treated to a Piper Perabo playing a deaf mute wild life photographer turned biologist and preservationist who writes she is not stupid. But then acts like a complete buffoon every time she appears on the screen. She manages to fall in the trap she set out for hares. Speaking of traps. Tell me Piper, don't you think they are part of the wild life also? As a preservationist should you even be using those? Isn't that being hypocritical? Also the sight of a dead animal and she is scared to death. Way to go Piper, excellent form of bad acting. Not to mention still not being able to shake that surprised and scared look on your face all the time.
Anyways Into the Grizzly Maze was setting up events and characters quite nicely for some fun thrills and excitement and then it gets lost somehow. And this I blame on David Hackl. Not quite sure if this is incompetency or inexperience. Whatever it is it ruins what could have been one of the greatest monster movies ever. Not only does he fail to use the excellent cast to their fullest potential he also neglects to build up any sense of tension and dread that is needed in films like these.
But to be honest, while this film was a little disappointing it never felt like it was a waste of time. This could have been the time I had been watching it. Which was very late at night. It's exactly the kind of movie you would enjoy the best at that time slot. That and despite the cast not getting the chance to do more they still make the movie a whole lot more interesting.