Follow TV Tropes


Film / Man Vs

Go To

You know the routine by now: Film crew drops off survival expert in the middle of nowhere, survival expert films some footage of himself surviving in the harsh conditions, survival expert gets picked up a few days later. Simple, right? That was the plan, anyway. Doug Woods has his own hit survival show, Woods Vs., and the next episode calls for him to be dropped in the middle of the woods somewhere in Ontario for five days of survivalist footage. Unfortunately, he discovers he isn't alone in the forest. Something is stalking him—something far more intelligent than the expected wolves and bears.

Man Vs (2015) is a horror-sci-fi thriller movie starring Chris Diamantopoulos, riffing on past survival shows like Man Vs. Wild and Survivorman in many ways, only to take a hard left shortly after he sets up base camp.


This film contains examples of:

  • Adult Fear: After seeing the news clip, Doug realizes that his wife and daughter are in serious danger from the invasion... and he's in the middle of nowhere, with no way to contact them and hours away from them by car.
  • Alien Invasion: In Duncan's trailer, Doug discovers from a news report that the creature he faced was only one of countless alien invaders who managed to bombard the most populated cities in the world and cause massive loss of life in 97 minutes.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Doug survives, but his crew and his brother don't, and now he has to get back to civilization to see if his wife and daughter are even still alive.
  • Box-and-Stick Trap: Doug sets up a few deadfall traps to catch rabbits. Later on, something messes up his traps—and then sets up a bigger trap, presumably to catch him.
  • Advertisement:
  • Break the Haughty: Doug starts off the movie as an arrogant jackass, but getting hunted for four days by something at least as smart as him and losing his entire crew seems to have pounded some humility into him.
  • Cell Phones Are Useless: Doug's satellite phone goes dead after the "meteor" crash, stranding him and leaving him without critical communication with his crew.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Duncan briefly blinds the creature with the flash of a camera he had in his survival bag, seen in his first video entry.
    • He later kills the creature with the motor that Duncan showed him at the start of the film.
  • Clothing Damage: Doug gets a laceration on his forearm and tears away his sleeve for a makeshift bandage until he can get to a first aid kit and bandage it properly.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: The crew comments that Duncan doesn't seem to be all there.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Discussed trope; Doug's crew mentions that his fans love it when he "eats something gross", and later on in the movie he assures the camera that he will do exactly that. (If he does, it happens off-camera.)
  • Fingore: While setting up his first shelter, Doug gets a huge shard of wood under his thumbnail, and is kind enough to show the camera that, yes, it goes the length of the nail. Then he pulls it out.
  • For the Evulz: The alien chooses to toy with Doug for several days instead of instantly killing him with its sonic cannon for no apparent reason.
  • Found Footage Films: Played with. The plot of filming a reality show invokes this format, and there are some scenes that are shot through Doug's in-universe cameras, but most of the film is not found footage. Furthermore, the footage is never "found" because Doug manages to not get killed at the end.
  • Genre Shift: At the climax, it goes from a psychological horror film to an alien invasion sci fi movie.
  • Heroic Second Wind: After his entire crew is dead and he fails to raise any help on the radio, Doug almost plunges into despair, until he watches the video his daughter recorded for him. The idea of getting back to her gets him moving again.
  • Informed Flaw: Doug is apparently an arrogant, egotistical Jerkass, but we don't see much of this side before he's thrust into the woods.
  • Irony: At the beginning of the movie, Doug is filming a survival documentary, but he has a lifeline in the form of a crew stationed not too far away and a satellite phone to contact them. At the end, he's in survivor mode for real, with no local crew, no way to contact the outside world, and only his wits and expertise to get him back to his family.
  • It Can Think: Doug's first indication that the strange noises aren't from local wildlife is that something has moved the pieces on his portable chessboard—apparently in legal moves, too. Later on, it proves to very quite adept at avoiding his cameras and even seems to be imitating his improvised survival tools.
  • Just Hit Him: The extremely capable creature just blasts Duncan non-fatally into the water instead of killing him outright.
  • The Lad-ette: Angie is just as crude as the men on the crew.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: Duncan.
  • Madness Mantra: Doug tends to repeat survival tips to himself to try to keep grounded after things starts to get hairy. Notable is the Shirtless Scene described below where he chants, "Gotta get dry, gotta get dry" as he wrings out his sodden shirt.
  • Manipulative Editing: Mentioned in-universe, when Doug decides to book it out of the woods early and tells Holly that they can pad out the footage to look like an extra day.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The creature was a lot more terrifying during the 95% of the movie when you couldn't see it.
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: Doug's reaction after four days of an unknown entity messing with him.
  • Shirtless Scene: After getting pitched into a lake, Doug's immediate instinct upon getting to shore is to strip off his shirt and wring it out. He's decently built, but the scene isn't played for fanservice.
  • Shout-Out: Several, mainly to Survivorman and Man vs. Wild:
    • The title is an obvious riff on Man vs. Wild
    • "I hate to kill any living thing, but in a survival situation all life is fair game" is quoted word-for-word from Survivorman as he sets up deadfalls to catch rabbits.
    • He polishes the bottom of an energy drink can to start a fire only unlike Les Stroud he didn't have a piece of chocolate and instead used a handful of earth.
    • Even appearance-wise, Doug himself combines features of Bear Grylls and Les Stroud.
    • The creature's growls sound a lot like Predator clicks.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Doug drops the F-bomb a lot when he isn't filming footage for the show, especially when he's frustrated or in pain.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: We only spend a few minutes with the crew at the start of the film before they're killed by the creature.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: The first time Doug has an advantage over the creature — the latter trapped in a large pit with plenty of large, heavy rocks on the edge — Doug just pulls a few rocks over and runs off without checking to see if the creature (who is clearly moving and is shown to be able to jump incredible heights and distances) is dead, though he assumes so. Of course, this is merely a Hope Spot for him.
  • Worthy Opponent: Arguably Doug to the creature, as the latter learns a lot from Doug by watching him closely and fails to kill him even after getting very close to him at his camp; contrast with Doug's crew, who have no chance.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: