Sunday, October 12, 2014
Devil's Pass follows a group of college kids that have received a grant to study and make a documentary of the Dyatlov Pass Incident. That story - in case you don't want to click over, whatever, no judging - tells of nine hikers that died under mysterious circumstances in the east shoulder of Kholat Syakhl (Dead Mountain) which is in the Ural Mountains in western Russia. This falls under found footage as the idea is that they will follow the path of the original hikers to try to figure out what happened to them documenting all the way.
We find out pretty early on via a news report that they have all disappeared. Cycle back to their arrival a month prior when the filming begins. The characters are kind of annoying - no great acting here. Predictably, things start to go awry once they are up the mountain. At one point one character says, "You followed a step by step plan that killed nine people, what did you think was going to happen?"
I feel like this movie had potential - I mean the mystery behind the Dyatlov Pass is pretty interesting. But man, it really felt like they didn't know what to do with the story so they just started throwing everything they could at it. Conspiracy theories, Russian military, the USS Eldridge...it gets messy and convoluted. Of note, the director - Renny Harlin - is, according to IMDB, "the most successful Finnish film director in the history of Hollywood." Not sure of their definition of "successful" - but he is responsible for Cliffhanger and A Long Kiss Goodnight (both of which I liked.) And others like Exorcist: The Beginning and The Covenant.(You should really click on those links...)
So yeah, not really recommended. BUT! With this movie I have officially passed my number of movies watched from 2013! Whoot!