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Movie Review - Man Vs (2015)

Updated on August 16, 2017
NessMovieReviews profile image

My passion is for films that scare the pants off you and I am always searching for movies that can do just that.


Why I watched it

Some people like to watch the best-rated movies, they need that assurance that everybody liked it so their precious time will not be wasted. Me, I like to watch movies that hardly anyone has heard of. I love a sure thing too, of course… you can sit me in front of a popular franchise like Star Wars and I’m sure I’ll have a good time but at the end of the day – I will still try to find something a little more left of center and hope that some reviews were very good and some of them said they hated equates to the fact I have a 50/50 chance of being among the ones that missed an underrated movie.

This is one of those times.

What on Earth is going on out here?
What on Earth is going on out here? | Source

Survivalist horror

A popular movie sub-genre is found footage – there are plenty of good ones out there (think Paranormal Activity and Unfriended.) This doesn’t make those lists as it contains objective footage too – so it’s a mixture of the two. Maybe that’s why it was hard to find. Having recently had a craving for disaster movies, I saw this on a page I was reading about survivalist movies and watched it along with Back Country. So is it a disaster movie? Hmm no not really. Is it a survivalist movie - absolutely, but more than that. It’s listed as a Horror/Sci-fi/thriller in a few places on the internet and I agree with that. A Promotional poster lists it as a cross between Bear Grylls and Predator – have I piqued your interest now?

Movie Specs

Welcome to Vanessa the Popcorn Eater’s review of MAN VS.

  • Movie Title: Man vs.
  • Director: Adam Massey
  • Writer: Adam Massey wrote the story and Thomas Michael wrote the screen play
  • Date of Release: June 3 2015 – The UK released it first
  • Run Time: 87 minutes

This movie went straight to DVD – I can find no budgetary information, try as I might. Only statements from critics saying the budget was ‘modest’ or ‘low.’

Chris Diamantopoulos plays Doug Woods - a guy with a name to suit his surroundings
Chris Diamantopoulos plays Doug Woods - a guy with a name to suit his surroundings | Source

The Plot

Doug Woods (Chris Diamantopoulos) is the main character, in fact, given the rest of the cast is barely there, there is no need to mention anyone else. He embarks upon a five-day wilderness survival trek with a backpack, some camera gear - and a chess board (chess is relaxing, who am I to judge? The guy really likes chess.) He is not allowed anything else, that’s what the Web series he stars in dictates. Everything starts off quite relaxing, with an almost invigorating atmosphere until he is woken by a loud noise in the distance. After that first night, things start to creep him out a little. What happened to the rabbit he stowed safely, high up in a tree for safe keeping? Who moved his chess pieces? What is that noise he keeps hearing in the middle of the night? Why are all the fish in the river dead? Doug sets up a camera perimeter as the tension of his situation mounts – he is having trouble sleeping, suddenly having trouble finding food. We see who he has back home as he listens to a message that was left on his phone from his wife and kids. It’s just five days – easy money, it’s for his show. He’s a celebrity. At first, he just keeps on keeping on but as more and more weirdness envelopes him, he becomes rather frightened – like one of the rabbits he should have had for dinner on the second night. The ending is a source of contention on the internet. Love, hate, discontent, pleasure – I suggest not reading about the ending and avoiding anything marked with *spoiler alert* just see it for yourself and make your own decision. I would even go as far as to not compare it to a few movies I think are like this, that I also loved – simply due to the spoiler alert factor in naming them – especially if you have seen them. In fact - don't watch the extended version of the trailer - just the short one.

The extended trailer - Man Vs.

If you go into the movie blind - it works better

I would like to say I liked it – some critics say it’s rough around the edges or, they obviously had a low-budget, but I’m unsure a big budget could do better. It’s quite low on gore if you like your horror tame. But wow, the story! For a little while, early on, I didn’t see it coming – I thought run of the mill, scary beast in the woods. Scary wolf in the woods. Scary pack of wolves in the woods. Scary bear in the woods, scary murderer in the woods. I kept guessing as the clues were sent. Can’t be a pack of wolves or a lone wolf – they can’t climb trees. Can’t be a bear – bears can’t play chess. Can’t be a well……better stop guessing or I risk a spoiler alert…..Let me say this though – not your average man alone in the woods horror movie.


If you were in the woods alone - would you play chess against yourself?

See results

He even looks like Bear Grylls

Doug Woods
Doug Woods | Source
Bear Grylls
Bear Grylls

No matter the type of genre you like, you may have seen Chris Diamantopoulos

He's been in Law and Order twice
He was Mr Chris in About a Boy
Was in CSI
He was in Hannibal
He is Michael Day in Robot Chicken
Played Jason Barone in The Sopranos
He played 3 characters in American Dad (Guy, Italian Man, Man in Supermarket)
He played Brian in The Office
Had a role in Charmed
He was in Silicon Valley
He played 2 characters in Arrested Development
Is The Green Arrow in Batman
He was Moe in The Three Stooges
Was in Nip Tuck
Is Steve in Frasier
Just one half of the filmography Chris Diamantopoulos stars in

What did I think of it?

I liked it. I would even watch it again either by myself or to make someone else watch it too. I wish the promotional posters didn’t give so much of the game away – I saw them after I watched it.

I give Man Vs.

4 rabbit traps out of five

— Vanessa Stewart

The shortened version of the trailer

My Rating for Man vs.

4 stars for Movies

Where can I see it?

Buy it on Amazon (see link in main Bio)

Watch it on Netflix

Stream it on Amazon Prime

© 2017 Vanessa Stewart


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    • NessMovieReviews profile image

      Vanessa Stewart 6 weeks ago from Moreton Bay, Queensland

      Amen fullerman, the powers that be certainly have other agendas sometimes.

    • Fullerman5000 profile image

      Ryan Fuller 6 weeks ago from Louisiana, USA

      Some of my favorite movies are ones critics hated on or did not get great reviews. I love discovery movies that are considered cult films. I feel like several movies that win awards or are given high praise end up being boring or I lose interest in them.