REVIEW: Devil’s Pass (2013)


Devil’s Pass: D-

This film, that claims to be “based on a true story,” is about a Russian mountain range that was the site for the mysterious deaths of several hikers in the late 1950’s. Also, in this film that is “based on a true story,” the mountain range covers a space-time vortex. Yeah. Just like in other stories “based” on “true” ones.

Some annoying 20-somethings go snooping around the mountains with camcorders which results in some wretched found footage, about 90% of which focuses on the boring dynamics of their hiking group. I guess this was the “based on a true story” stuff.

One hiker looks IDENTICAL to Claire Danes but is not Claire Danes.

This aura of disappointing familiarity pervades the film. I feel like they tried to channel the disorienting, creeping found-footage terror from The Blair Witch Project where inexperienced explorers go searching for answers and wind up getting lost and slaughtered. The mountain landscapes defy their maps, nullify their compasses/GPS devices, and worry the one sensible character, who didn’t star in that show Homeland, but looks like she could have. This ate up a lot of movie time and ate away at my will to live. No shortage on complaint-ridden wandering scenes.

“People have gotten lost before,” the producers must’ve said. “That’s a true story.”

Further highlights from this story “based” on a “true” one include CGI teleporting cannibals, radioactive Star-Gate-like portals to other dimensions, subterranean Russian bunkers, and X-Files levels of government conspiracy relating to illegal and immoral science experiments. There is a fucking monster on the cover of the DVD right next to the words “Based on a true story” and right under the name of the actress who didn’t star in Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo & Juliet.

I kept watching to see what was in the bunker but wound up being pretty disappointed. The actress who didn’t star in My So-Called Life uncovers a huge international conspiracy that doesn’t seem like anything resembling a “true story” and then you’re treated to really loud insufferable monsters who look like Silent Hill rejects. They lope around with all the rigidity of poorly rendered Resident Evil Playstation graphics while they scream, scream, scream for a long, long time.

Or was that me screaming? Probably was.