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Surviving the Wild (2018)

1:33 | Trailer
Against the wishes of his parents (who are in the midst of a messy divorce), a young boy steals the ashes of his dead Grandfather and runs away into the wilderness with his dog. The boy is ... See full summary »


Mark Hefti (screenplay), Steven Paul (additional writing) | 1 more credit »



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Credited cast:
Jon Voight ... Gus
Jamie Kennedy ... Kristopher
Vail Bloom ... Rachel
Aidan Cullen Aidan Cullen ... Shaun
Derrick Van Orden ... Eartle
Matthew Davis ... Emri
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Cheryl Abrao ... Funeral Attendee
Matt Bevin Matt Bevin ... The Governor
Sheri Carbone ... Sheri / Teacher
Susan Coleman Susan Coleman ... Delilah McQueen
Lisette Markham ... Mourner at wake
Jessica Jayne Nolan Jessica Jayne Nolan ... Dog walker
Lare Roberts ... Mourner at wake
Ricardo Santos ... Mourner at wake
Ian Teal ... Ian


Against the wishes of his parents (who are in the midst of a messy divorce), a young boy steals the ashes of his dead Grandfather and runs away into the wilderness with his dog. The boy is determined to fulfill his beloved Grandpa's dying wishes and spread his ashes atop a remote mountain. Along the treacherous journey, the boy and the dog are accompanied by the ghost of his Grandpa, who helps them on their journey, brings the family back together and gives the boy one last chance to say goodbye.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language, some suggestive material, and thematic elements






Release Date:

5 January 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Riley's Peak See more »

Filming Locations:

Louisville, Kentucky, USA


Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Haunted Doll Company See more »
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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Parts of the movie were filmed at the Red River Gorge in Eastern Kentucky. See more »


As the father is checking to see how the wife is doing in the tent at night, a red blinking light is seen behind him in the woods, supposedly way out in the middle of nowhere. See more »

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User Reviews

Not So Wild
4 April 2018 | by rutzelbSee all my reviews

Young Shaun (Aidan Cullen) with Riley his dog, lies and steals his deceased grandfather Gus' (John Voight) Urn- from his mother to spread ashes on a remote mountain. We see Gus almost every step of the way and only Shaun can see and hear him.

This seems to be a made-for-tv movie. It's okay, but I didn't have any feeling for Shaun or for Riley either and that should have happened. John Voight was okay as the deceased Gus with his words of wisdom and encouragement to Shaun from time to time. The trip to the mountain and what Shaun encounters during the journey was kind of tame to be honest, and oh, yes, two men in the woods and we are not sure what that was all about. No, no Deliverance but those scenes did come to mind. Hey, this is a family movie, but who or what were these two men is a mystery that was never explained.

Later the almost-divorced parents learn they had been duped by Shaun and go looking for him on that remote mountain. No real suspense or tension within this movie. Like I said: a made for tv movie, a walk in the park. Tame.

Notables: Jamie Kennedy as Kristopher, Shaun's father; Vail Bloom as Rachel, Shaun's mother; Derick Van Orden as Jebediah one of the men in the woods; and Matthew Davis as Eartle as one of the men in the woods.

The cinematography should have been better than it was. There were too many shots too up close to the fauna and not enough long shots of the scenery except for maybe one shot. There was a nice pastel sunset though.

A note of caution: Most everyone knows, by now, to never spread cremation ashes and to secure the URN in a safe place.

At the end, would it surprise you to know that Rachel says she thinks she did see Gus too? Hmmmm................ (5/10)

Violence:: Yes, but not much. Sex: No. Nudity: No. Humor: Much between Gus and Shaun. Language: Brief small stuff. Rating: C

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