Saturday, January 25, 2014
Devil's Pass (2013)
Grad student Holly gets a grant to make a documentary on the 1959 Dyatlov Pass incident in which nine experienced Russian skiers were found dead after failing to return from a trip. The individuals had slashed open their tents and run off into the night while only partially closed in sub zero degree weather. What caused them to do so is still a mystery.
Holly brings a cameraman (who is a conspiracy theorist), a sound person, and two guides. Usually I think of guides as someone who knows the area and has experience on the mountains in question or with that type of hiking. But Holly brings a couple guys from college, and one talks about hiking the Appalachian Trail. So I'm wondering why Holly wouldn't find someone experienced in hiking in snow or forging their own trail.
After traveling from the US and arriving in a small town near the site, Holly and her team find a local man to take them to the mountains. Luckily they've brought cameras whose batteries never need to be charged and only go dead if they need to review the footage. So for the most part, they're all set.
There is a strange exchange when they make their freeze dried dinner. I think it's Holly who balks at eating the first item because she's a vegetarian. Now if you had special dietary requirements, wouldn't you make sure to pack food you could actually eat? Another ill planned part of the venture by Holly.
Sooner than they think, they're setting up camp at the original expeditions location. That's when strange things start happening, such as the GPS and compass stop working, and Holly finds a door nearby buried under some snow which has some slight sign of radiation. The group are hopelessly prepared for any sort of adversity that might arise, and since it's a found footage film, you know how they're going to end up right from the start.
The ending goes off in a different direction which ended up being kind of stupid. Found footage movies are usually not that great, but this one wasn't as annoying as most of them. If only they'd found a better way to end it because that last scene just didn't cut it.