There’s nothing like a good ol’ Lifetime thriller to drain the last drop of wanderlust out of you. Judging by the perilous trips these TV movies have been taking to national parks lately, you’re better off staying home than planning a weekend hike with your closest companion. That is, if you allow Brooke’s crippling paranoia in Kidnapping in the Grand Canyon to get under your skin. But not even in their worst nightmares could Brooke and her best friend Chandra expect their PTSD-riddled friendiversary trip to the Grand Canyon to turn into a harrowing test of resilience.
What Happens In The Film?
The charming smile that Brooke puts on to get through her day quickly fades the moment she’s by herself. What reason does she have to feel so much as a hint of joy when, just two years ago, fate was cruel enough to have her helplessly watch as the love of her life fell to his death? “Enough is enough” is the vibe that Chandra brings to the narrative with her nomadic nonchalance. They’ve been friends since they were 8. And even though they’ve somewhat drifted apart in the last few years, both Chandra and Brooke would like nothing better than to let bygones be bygones. After shutting the door on her relationship with Meg, Chandra can’t wait to get back to the kind of life she’s always wanted: making the whole world her home.
Chandra’s not too keen on letting Brooke’s crippling PTSD dictate how their trip to Grand Canyon National Park is going to go. She’s even petulant enough to push Brooke to move on and give a shot to Nate, the trail guide they’ve just met. If we’ve learned anything from Lifetime thrillers, that’s never good news. What’s worse is that Chandra would rather prioritize her spirit of adventure over the crushing anxiety Brooke is buried under. Relying on a guide they know nothing about, the nervy doctor and the impulsive photographer go off-trail to treat their eyes to the lesser-explored beauty of the Grand Canyon. What could go wrong?
Who Is Tara? Why Are Brooke And Chandra Kidnapped?
Despite being the more anxious one of the two, Brooke’s naive, trusting side takes over as soon as she sees Nate as someone who’d likely not turn out to be an axe murderer. She even opens up, albeit inadvertently, about the loss that her well-being has succumbed to. It’s Nate’s being unfazed by the brazen oversharing that conveys a sense of emotional maturity, something that Brooke’s quite taken by. But their passage through the terrain not often frequented by tourists takes a dangerous turn when they’re drugged and kidnapped and find themselves waking up in a cave with Tara. Nate’s not your usual psychopath. The odd man, whose eccentricities Tara deemed adorable at first, took her hostage when she turned down his proposal. It’s so that Brooke, the one doctor he’s come across, can treat Tara’s infected wound and save her life that Nate’s gone through the trouble of kidnapping the two friends. Luckily, while Nate and Brooke are away foraging for some antibiotics, quick-witted Chandra finds a way to break free and takes the barely conscious Tara along.
What Happens To Nate? Is Tara saved by Brooke and Chandra?
The setting that Kidnapping in the Grand Canyon chose as the stage for the dreadful conflict mirrors the pervasive themes that instill a sense of isolation. Loss and grief thrive in the desolate corners of the characters’ minds. All three of them—Brooke, Tara, and Nate—have dealt with or at least tried to deal with their individual demons in their own ways. While Brooke’s been overcome by the trauma of watching her husband die, and the once lively and fearless woman is now in the clutches of paranoia, she hasn’t resorted to unhealthy means to fill the void. Tara, as we later get to decipher, was left dangerously vulnerable after the death of her mother. People tend to lean on any support they find in times of crisis, and predators lurking under the pretense of love exploit this very vulnerability in their victims. Why else would someone as bright and beautiful as Tara tolerate Nate’s psychotic tendencies and actively seek ways to justify his behavior?
Even at the brink of losing her life to a preventable case of sepsis, why would she continue to believe that Nate’s all she has? Nate’s a nutcase, for sure. But he was also a man ripe for the demon of loneliness to take over. It was to muffle the incessant noise in his head reminding him of his wretched isolation that Nate looked for a companion who’d need him. And manipulating Tara’s overwhelming battle with grief into making himself seemingly irreplaceable in her life is how Nate took control of Tara.
When an unfortunate hiker lost his life in an attempt to save Brooke, she could’ve easily given in to her fear and shut down. Instead, she withstood her fear in the face of immediate danger and recognized that, under the guise of a monster, Nate’s weakness was palpable. A fearless shot fired from a flare gun and the timely bite of a rattlesnake incapacitate Nate. And with Tara being airlifted to the hospital, Brooke and Chandra can be at peace knowing the poor girl didn’t lose her life over a madman’s whim. Brooke was never into the trip and was strongly against taking the lesser-known trail. But the woman who emerged from the rubble of the frightening ordeal faced her fears and overcame the trauma that had been holding her back.
Kidnapping in the Grand Canyon‘s ending welcomes a new dawn in the lives of the two women who, in their own ways, were in the clutches of their fears. Not only does Chandra recognize her emotional limitations that made her distant when Brooke needed her the most, but she also conquers her fear of vulnerability and gives a shot to her relationship that was on the verge of ending. Brooke, on the other hand, embraces the light that has dimmed ever since the loss of her husband, recognizing that being her best, most spirited self is the ideal way to honor his memory.