THE RETREAT (2021) Reviews and overview

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The Retreat is a 2021 Canadian thriller about a female couple on a weekend away that find they are being hunted by extremists.

Directed by Pat Mills from a screenplay written by Alyson Richards, the movie stars Tommie-Amber Pirie, Aaron Ashmore, Rossif Sutherland, Celina Sinden, Chad Connell and Aaron Ashmore.


Renee (Tommie-Amber Pirie) and Valerie (Sarah Allen), a couple at a crossroad in their relationship, leave the city to spend the weekend at a remote cabin with friends but when they arrive, their friends are nowhere to be found.

As the pair stumble through their relationship woes, they discover they are being hunted by a group of militant extremists who are determined to exterminate them…


” …almost offensively unoriginal, not to mention wildly implausible. From the get-go we’re being asked to suspend our disbelief to the extent that we can swallow the idea that a bunch of homicidal maniacs, who also happen to be homophobes, happen to be based near a gay B&B run by two homosexual men whose two lesbian friends happen to be visiting for the weekend […] On top of that, it slavishly follows most of the cliches in the genre playbook.” Bloody Flicks

“Unfortunately, how the film treats two minor gay characters says a lot about how gay men are treated in society and in the media is still in many ways the same and how there’s still a fight for many to be afforded the same victory as Renee and Valerie. The film speaks of toxic masculinity’s effects on gay men, but their narrative could have easily been treated differently.” Daily Dead

“It’s a total guilty pleasure kind of survival horror movie with a brilliantly f*cked-up villain […] The story is interesting (and far too realistic) with wonderful performances by all the actors. So, my point is simply that you need to check out The Retreat because this movie does everything right.” Heaven of Horror

” …The Retreat has some great and deeply satisfying kill shots. This movie is obviously great for horror fans and lovers of slashers. But it’s also recommended viewing for those of us who are sick and tired of the “bury your gays” trope. And of course, it’s perfect for people who love survival movies set in the woods and starring badass and capable women.” Nightmarish Conjurings

“There are certainly moments where The Retreat’s prioritization of brutality and terror eclipse its socio-political messaging […] Skillfully directed by Mills – with the only technical shortcoming being the hard-to-see night sequences – The Retreat is certainly worth seeing for any lovers of survival horror, regardless of identity.” Rue Morgue

Release date:

The Retreat will be released by Quiver Distribution (Paradise Cove; Becky) theatrically, on Digital and On-Demand on May 21st 2021.


Director Pat Mills commented: “Being different and sticking out in a place that does not feel safe is something we can all relate to, but for those of us who are queer-identified, this fear takes up space in our identities – it becomes a part of us.

[It’s] a cabin-in-the-woods movie made for us and by us – but everyone can relate to the need to survive. As extremist subcultures boil to the surface, the fears explored in The Retreat are more relevant than ever.”

Writer Alyson Richards said The Retreat is: “the movie version of how I feel these days: Don’t f*ck with us ’cause we’ll fight back. Writing The Retreat was my cathartic way of dealing with my anger.”

Cast and characters:

Tommie-Amber Pirie … Renee
Sarah Allen … Valerie
Celina Sinden … Layna
Munro Chambers … Scott
Chad Connell … Connor
Aaron Ashmore … James
Rossif Sutherland … Gavin
Patrick Garrow … Huck
Gavin Fox … Victor
Joey Coleman … Jed
Don Masters … Shopkeeper

Filming locations:

Ontario, Canada


Not to be confused with Bruce Wemple‘s 2020 Wendigo movie The Retreat


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