One thing that people love to do is go to the movies to feel a thrill. It’s no wonder why suspense and thriller movies often times do so well in theaters! Sometimes, the unrealistic scenes can be a bit of a letdown due to how “out-there” the premise is. But something that doesn’t fail to hook audiences are animal attack scenes.
People are hooked by watching animal attack scenes because they feel a deep sense of connection to the horror unfolding on screen. It’s evolutionary! Before the agricultural revolution, people lived as nomadic hunters and gatherers. They were prey animals to the most vicious predators in the woods! People developed a keen sense of awareness to help them survive, which is why watching movie scenes like the bear attack in The Revenant so captivating.
The bear attack scene from The Revenant is about as close as you can get to witnessing a true bear attack outside of actually witnessing one!
What makes the attack so realistic?
Part of what makes the attack so realistic is the way that it happens. When you watch the movie, the main character Hugh Glass (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) is out hunting. He takes a moment to rest and notices something stirring around in the ferns nearby him. All of the sudden, a giant brown or grizzly bear pops out of the brush and proceeds to maul him!
In bear country, the times when you most likely will encounter a bear is by surprise. Bears have an amazing sense of smell that allow them to detect you way before you detect them. Usually, bears will only attack when they are surprised by your presence or if you have the misfortune of stumbling across a mom and her cubs.
In the case of The Revenant, you have to listen very closely for one of the most important details of the scene. After the bear has finished mauling Hugh Glass, you can hear it stop for a moment as Glass lays motionless on the ground. If you listen closely, you’ll hear some cubs rustling in the nearby ferns. This detail is key to help add to the realism of the attack, because it reveals that the bear attacked because it was defending its cubs against a potential predator!
After the provocation, the scene continues with its realism by how the bear proceeds to maul Hugh Glass. It gets into a dominant position, always staying on top of Glass, and uses its teeth and claws to maul him from a safe distance. It puts pressure on him throughout the entire scene and is absolutely dominating.
You’ll also notice that towards the end of the attack, it stops and pauses when Glass is laying on the ground, motionless. This is important because what it shows is that the bear was truly taking out a threat and wasn’t actively hunting down Glass. The mistake that Glass makes is he rolls over and tries to shoot the bear as it leaves. This prompts yet another attack!
Bear attacks can be potentially life-threatening due to the lacerations that you can endure while being attack. Be sure you know how to treat major bleeding by reading more here.
How can I avoid the same fate as Hugh Glass in The Revenant?
If you are enthusiastic about hiking and spending time outdoors, you’ll likely find yourself at some point hiking through bear country. But there really is no need to be afraid that bears are actively hunting you! Remember, bears rarely attack because they see you as a food source. They attack because they feel threatened! To make sure that you avoid encountering a bear at all, be sure to follow these steps:
1. Make noise as you hike
Most people like to go hiking for the serenity that the outdoors provide. But if you’re hiking in bear country, you’ll want to make sure that you make some noise as you hike. This can be as simple as wearing a bell on your backpack so that it constantly jingles as you walk! Another idea is to hum or sing a song. Or if you’re really concerned about bears in the area, you can simply talk to the bears by saying things like “hey bear!”
The reason why you want to make noise is that in The Revenant, Hugh Glass was intentionally being quiet as he was hunting. This likely startled the bear and her cubs, which provoked the attack.
2. Be aware of where the wind is blowing
As mentioned before, bears have an amazing sense of smell. They can detect humans way before humans even know that a bear is in the area! That means that you should use the wind to your advantage when possible to avoid a bear encounter.
A great way to tell which direction the wind is blowing is by picking up some dirt or a handful of dead leaves and dropping them from about shoulder level. Pay attention to where the dirt or leaves blow and you’ll easily know exactly where the wind is blowing!
If you see a bear far off in the distance, position yourself so that you are upwind from it. That means that you want the wind blowing towards the bear from where you are standing. The wind will carry your scent, which will alert it of your presence way before you encounter it!
3. Hike in groups
One of the best things that you can do is hike in groups when you’re going into bear country. When you’re with other people, you make it easier to follow steps 1 and 2 without really putting in much effort! The more people that are around, the noisier you’ll be (and the smellier to bears as well!).
In the even that you do run across a bear while in the woods, be sure that you’re prepared to handle the situation. Read more about surviving a bear encounter before venturing into bear country!
Movies help us suspend our belief in reality for a couple of hours at a time. We can believe that superheroes with laser vision exist and that cars can talk for a while. But the movies that absolutely thrill people are the most realistic. It helps people connect with the experiences of others without actually having to live it themselves! War movies are another great way to experience a very human experience and our friends at Empire Movies has done a great job by compiling a list of the top 5 Vietnam War movies that you can’t afford to miss!