Maneater also known as Unnatural is a horror based around a group of people being attacked by a genetically altered polar bear in the wilderness. An attempt at a more thought-provoking creature feature B-movie, the end result is a lacklustre & dull affair.
Directed by Hank Braxtan and written by Arch Stanton & Ron Carlson. The movie can at least boast a decent cast with James Remar, Sherilyn Fenn & Ron Carlson starring. The story sees an obnoxious photographer & his models wanting to take sexy pictures in the cold wilderness. They hire some locals to help out but ignore much of the advice they receive…obviously.
Meanwhile at a research station a genetically altered polar bear is loose somehow & is rampaging through the facility. One doctor manages to escape with the bear close behind. She finds her way to the photography group where she lies about her involvement all while the bear attempts to eat everyone in sight.
Not that we actually get to see the bear, it’s in shadows for the majority of the film. Incredibly disappointing for film that calls itself ‘Maneater’ & proudly displays the bear on the cover of most of the DVD releases. It’s probably for the best though as what we do see is pretty awful looking. The budget didn’t seem to cover decent effects, it seems.
The cast are decent enough, nothing to get excited about & some are clearly fodder for the bear. It’s hard to get invested in any of them especially as the message about not messing with nature never really hits. It even comes across a little preachy at times which is at odds with the silliness of the movie as a whole.
Not that the movie was intentionally trying to be silly. Far from it, this is a serious look at man vs nature & what we do when we mess around with things.
There are attempts to create tension but they fall flat as the whole premise never feels like a real event. You feel like you’re watching a low-grade b-movie & the most you’re going to feel is disappointment as it totally peters out in the final third.