One of the all time great movies of the horror genre, Evil Dead, was shot in East Tennessee. Now a group of talented local entertainers are looking to be the next great horror movie mavens.

Big and Funky Productions has written, produced, filmed and scored The Hike. It is based on male lead Vinnie Vineyard’s brother’s experience while hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains and a Cherokee legend they first encountered during the filming of their show Wrestling With Ghosts.

Full disclosure I know and am friends most of the folks involved with The Hike so I tried to watch it and review it as unbiasedly as I can. There will be some very minor spoilers here but nothing that I feel ruins the plot.

It starts out with a couple that are transplants to East Tennessee that plan to explore their new home by taking a three day hike in the nation’s most visited national park. They soon start to find bits and pieces on the trail that makes it seem something sinister is afoot.

The dialog between the protagonists played by the aforementioned Vineyard and female lead Kandi Thompson flows very naturally and does not put you in mind that this is a horror film at all. But as the story progresses it spirals from humor to horror in short order. There are a couple of scenes I found particularly unsettling.

Two scenes particularly stand out. The encounter with the park ranger played by Billy Parrott is the hidden gem of this movie. He needs to be in more movies/TV shows. The fight scene in the end is over the top goodness. If you have ever seen the John Carpenter classic They Live and the fight scene between Keith David and Roddy Piper you will get a similar vibe here. You can see the pro wrestling backgrounds of the actors in a good way.

All in all this is like a fun version of Deliverance with a hint of the supernatural as well.

From a technical standpoint they had good camera effects. More importantly the score of this flick is one of my favorite background parts. I was able to watch this and get into the characters as the characters despite the fact I know almost every male character in this movie on a personal level.

I give this movie a seek out and watch recommendation. It is a fun way to send a couple of hours and I look forward to watching a truly completed copy.