Monday, March 2, 2015

Movie Review: Devil's Pass

Devil's Pass is a movie that fictionalizes the infamous Dyatlov Pass incident, where nine Russian skiers died under mysterious circumstances in the Ural Mountains.  The premise is that five college students retrace the skiers' steps decades later, armed with GPS devices and cameras, to determine exactly what happened in Dyatlov Pass.

In general, the movie was very silly, with a twist ending that was insufficiently teased and an utterly charmless cast that did nothing to elevate a tedious, pedestrian story.
  • Characters: All of the typical horror tropes were represented: the Good Girl, the Bad Girl, the Geek, the Player, the Hippie.  All were adequate.  At no point did any of them break character to be anything other than archetypes or get the viewer to care about what happened to them.
  • Scares: None.  It wasn't even the least bit disturbing.  The teleporting zombie creatures were too shaky-cammed to see what they were doing, so it was hard to be afraid of them.  The bigfoot footprints in the snow were silly, not frightening.  An abortive trip to a mental hospital failed to provide the ominous foreboding that was intended.  
  • Found Footage-Style: I suppose we'll just have to ride out the found footage-style of horror/sci-fi movies until it's over and we can return to movie production that doesn't involve gimmicks to get us to feel as though the action's really happening.  There was no good reason to do this movie in found footage-style, as it added nothing to the immediacy of the story; in fact, it made the film less believable.  I couldn't believe they filmed some of the things they did the way they did, especially during dangerous moments.  
  • The Twist: In an effort to solve the mystery of the Dyatlov Pass incident in the most bizarre way possible, they included a time-traveling wormhole that turns idiots into zombies.  Do you really need to know any more?  
Across the board, this film is a must-miss.  One star out of five.

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