Saturday, June 19, 2021

#2,587. Devil's Pass (2013)


I’m usually pretty forgiving when it comes to found footage; no matter how outlandish the story, if the presentation is even halfway convincing, I’m in.

Therein lies the problem with Renny Harlin’s Devil’s Pass. There wasn’t a moment I believed its characters or a single word they were saying, and as a result, when the final act veered off into strange and unsettling sci-fi territory, instead of being intrigued, I was just ready for it to be over.

Five college students from Oregon head to Russia to make a documentary about the Dyatlov Pass incident of 1959, where nine healthy, experienced hikers were found dead in the snow.

What caused their demise is a mystery that’s never been solved, and when the five students, led by co-directors Holly (Holly Goss) and Jensen (Matt Stokoe), head out to the location of the tragedy, hoping to find some answers, they instead uncover a 50-year-old secret that could ultimately spell their doom.

Filled with bland characters delivering dialogue that felt forced (regardless of how crazy things get, there’s always time for a little exposition), Devil’s Pass never once felt real, and considering it’s based on an actual event (the Dyatlov Pass tragedy), I’d say a lack of authenticity is a major failing (Harlin and his crew couldn’t even make reality seem real).

There are a few cool scenes (the avalanche sequence was strong), but not enough of them to make up for the movie’s shortcomings. Devil’s Pass proved a major disappointment.

Rating: 3 out of 10

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