Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Devil's Pass Movie Review

Runtime: 100 minutes
Release Date: February 28, 2013
Rating: R
Director: Renny Harlin

Holly and Jensen are two college students looking for their next project decide to tackle the Dyatlov Pass incident. As one of the Internet's most favorite unsolved mysteries, thousands of people over the years attempted to discover what happened to a group of hikers who died under mysterious circumstances. The two convince three others to join them on a hike through the same area to film a documentary.

From the moment they arrive in Russia, they face opposition from all sides. The only person attached to the original group is in a mental hospital and unable to talk to them, and everyone else seems suspicious or downright angry about them being there. Some people act hostile towards them, while others outright tell them to leave. Once they finally begin their trek up the mountain, they learn that they might await the same fate as those on the original expedition.

I first heard about the true story on Cracked, and thanks to Reddit, I now know more about the story than I ever planned. As soon as I heard there was a horror movie based on the story, I knew that I had to see it. After learning that director Renny Harlin also had an interest in the story and did some research of his own, I knew that I really wanted to see it.

The problem with creating a film on such a popular story is that it's impossible to please everyone. Harlin decided to create a story that would offer a possible explanation on what happened to those involved in the original case, but it actually doesn't answer any questions. Instead of focusing on the true story, he decides to add some elements, including two people who were mysteriously never mentioned in any transcripts and make a story based on those people. While it does add some interesting moments, it really takes away from the real story.

How could you take a story about people found in various states of undress, with cuts all over their bodies, and with possible traces of radiation and turn it into a (spoiler alert) time traveling story gone wrong? I wish Harlin had just stuck with the real facts and based a horror movie around that.

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