8 harrowing survival films that test the human spirit

From the wilds in 'The Revenant' to the deep waters of 'Sanctum,' these films offer a breathtaking glimpse at humanity and nature.

3 / 9

avalanche the revenant avalanche the revenant (Photo: The Revenant)

3 / 9

'The Revenant'

Set in the 19th century, "The Revenant" features American actor Leonardo DiCaprio as a fur trapper fighting for survival in the harsh wilderness.

Helmed by Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu and Arnon Milchan, a prolific film producer from Israel, the film's production was one of the most challenging in moviemaking history. In addition to only using natural light for the cinematography, the filmmakers also endured cripplingly cold temperatures and spent months rehearsing critical scenes.

In the fall of 2015, "The Revenant" became one of the first films to measure audience response with the use of biometrics. It has since been nominated for 12 Academy Awards, including Best Actor and Best Picture.

Photos and SlideshowsPhotos and Slideshows