In "Open Water" (2003), a pair of scuba divers (who were also a couple) got stranded in the middle of the ocean and found themselves imperiled by a school of sharks. Well, in "The Canyon", we have a newly-married couple stranded somewhere in the Grand Canyon and hunted by wolves. It's basically a survival-type drama with some twists, but on the whole is quite formulaic. What makes this watchable (though more as a rental and not a purchase) is the acting, which I thought was quite alright, considering this is a low-budget indie flick. The story centers around Nick (Eion Bailey) and Lori (Yvonne Strahovski) who are a pair of newly-weds and eager for adventure (well, Nick mainly) - Nick's idea of a perfect honeymoon is to explore the deepest recesses of the canyon via muleback. Unfortunately, Nick did not have the foresight to apply for a permit for their excursion and the pair decide to take on the proffered services of a grizzled old guide Henry (Will Patton).
Will Patton makes the initial part of this movie quite watchable with his dry humor and vast knowledge of the canyon - he really is quite a hoot to watch in his role as guide. Unfortunately, his role is rather shortlived, and it is left to Nick and Lori to carry the rest of the movie through as the stranded pair are forced to rely on their wits to stay alive and make it out of the canyon, even as tragedy and danger stalk them in the form of a pack of determined wolves. Eion Bailey's Nick is quite average in his role as the smart ass new husband who uses his persuasive skills in getting Lori to agree to his adventure - a plan that seems doomed from the beginning considering his lack of planning and foresight.His character as such is hard to empathize with. Lori as portrayed by Yvonne Strahovski has more of a screen presence and manages to convey a wider range of emotions convincingly and had me rooting for her all through the movie. The highlight of this movie is actually the gorgeous cinematography of the canyon - simply breathtaking. On the whole, this is basically a been-there-done-that sort of survival drama, and I'd recommend it as a rental at best.