måndag 23 september 2013

Devil's pass aka The Dyatlov pass incident (2013)

I have no qualms about saying that Renny Harlin is one of my favorite directors when it comes to violent, easy going entertainment. Deep blue sea is a masterpiece in cheesy fun, Die hard 2 is one of the few sequels out there on par with the original and I adore his Exorcist prequel (Paul Schraders version is just plain boring, a horror movie made by a person that did not want to make a horror movie). And let us not forget Prison, a really fun eighties horrormovie that deserve a lot of praise. When I heard that he was making a found footage horror movie my expectations soared. I have not given up on the genre yet and Harlin sure as hell didn't make me want to quit it. Yes, this is quite a good movie actually.

Devil's pass is based on / inspired by a true story about nine hikers found dead in the Ural mountains in 1959, their deaths shrouded in mystery and strange circumstances that has fueled conspiracy theories ever since. (You can read about it here). A group of American filmmakers decides to travel to Russia to shoot a documentary about the event and, well, strange things start to happen as they arrive on the site where the bodies were found. Then there is a twist in the end. A quite nice one actually.

It'll be safe to say that Harlin does not reinvent the wheel here. There is nothing new on the agenda but he does bring his professionalism along on the ride, which means that all the trappings of the genre are there but so much more bearable than what we might be used to. The shakycam isn't particulary vomitinducing, the characters aren't nowhere near as annoying as in for instance A night in the woods and the fact that it was actually shot on location in Russia does wonders for authenticity. The script takes it's sweet time building up until the final events but the atmosphere is great and the final half hour pretty damn exciting up until the final twist which is actually quite fun. The actors do their jobs and we all end up with one of the better Found footage movies of the last five years.

In short, unremarkable yet very entertaining horror. Well worth your time.

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