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Devil’s Pass: Everyone Is Entitled To My Opinion

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DIRECTOR: Renny Harlin

WRITEN BY: Vikram Weet

CAST: Holly Goss, Matt Stokoe, Luke Albright, Ryan Hawley, Gemma Atkinson

IFC Midnight has released some great movies in their short time in the distribution game. So when they set me up with a screener of a found footage horror, I didn’t scoff at the chance to watch it. Regardless of how I feel about the sub-genre, there are distribution companies out there that you just have to trust. IFC After Dark is one of those.  Devils Pass is directed by action genre great Renny Harlin who is also known for directing Nightmare on Elm Street 4, Die Hard 2, Cliffhanger, Cutthroat Island, The Long Kiss Goodnight, Deep Blue Sea, Driven, and quite a few more recognizable titles.

Devil’s Pass is a fictional movie which follows five young film makers investigating the mysterious non-fictional deaths of nine hikers in the Ural Mountains. While the movie is set in present time, the actual incident occurred in 1959. Many people have many theories of what happened to the hikers while the Soviets determined that “a compelling natural force” had caused the deaths.

I’m not going to try to sell you this movie as gold. It’s a fun late night movie, but it has it’s flaws. The pacing is slow at times and the dialogue is laughable, as is the idea that what you’re watching is found footage. Nonetheless, it’s watchable, and even enjoyable. The campiness is all part of the fun. In my opinion it was better than Paranormal Activity, and much akin to the grossly underrated Troll Hunter.  If you’re a DVD collector, it’s worth a spot on your shelf and if you just rent movies, definitely give it a view. The best way to view it however, is if you wait till they show it one late night on the IFC channel; stay up, pop some corn, and enjoy.

OVERALL RATING: 7 OUT OF 10

Devil’s Pass is currently available on-demand  through iTunes and Amazon until 11/21/13 after that you can expect a DVD release.

Synopsis – Fact: In February of 1959, nine Russian hikers ventured into a remote area of the Ural Mountains in Russia.Fact: Two weeks later, all nine were found dead.What happened to them is a mystery that has baffled investigators and researchers for decades. It has become known as the Dyatlov Pass Incident.Rumors have attributed their deaths to everything from alien encounters and government conspiracies to supernatural causes. To date, no one has been able to adequately explain what drove nine experienced hikers from their tents so frantically that they ripped through the material from the inside; or how their bodies came to be exposed to such dangerous amounts of radiation that it was still detected weeks later. And no one knows why they were discovered hundreds of yards from their camp, half dressed and with internal injuries including broken ribs and fractured skulls, but with no external wounds at all. The body of one young woman was even missing her tongue.Present Day: Five ambitious American college students are issued a grant to return to the site of the original events in the belief that they can uncover and document the truth of what happened at Dyatlov’s Pass. But what they find is more shocking than anything they could have imagined. Their trek through the Ural Mountains, retracing the steps of that ill-fated journey, is plagued by strange and increasingly terrifying phenomena, all of which suggest that in spite of their desolate surroundings, they are not alone. The forces behind the Dyatlov Pass Incident have been waiting for them.

The students’ recently recovered footage – the only clue to what happened to them – was deemed too disturbing for public eyes. But, like everything else connected to Dyatlov’s Pass, the truth has found its way out. ”

Official Synopsis Provided by IFC

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