Thursday, August 28, 2014

"Devil's Pass" recycles "The Dyatlov Pass Incident" of 1959 in the Urals

Devil’s Pass”, directed by Renny Harlin, is a road horror film based on “found footage” of “The Dyatlov Pass Incident” that occurred in 1959 in the Ural Mountains in Russia when nine ski hikers were found dead with no clear explanation of what trauma had caused their demise.

Five college students from Oregon travel to Russia to recreate the scene and make a documentary film about the incident.  It may not be too much of a spoiler to suggest that the conclusion of the film sets up a recursive plot loop.  

The film sets up a road horror setup. The kids, all appealing, get into things traveling by train and then mixing with the townspeople, and hitch a ride.  They hike up to camp near the location of the incident in the Ural Mountains. 

They settle in, and notice odd things, like mysterious footprints.  Night comes, and the most adventurous of the group, the blond Andy Thatcher (Ryan Hawley) is about to make love in the tent.  (Andy as a character was particularly enthusiastic about the physical challenges of the adventure; but hiking the entire Appalachian Trail isn't quite enough experience for this.)  There are blasts, and then an avalanche.  A rather complicated sequence follows, including their am underground door they find, the Russian military chasing them, and then the tunnel maze inside.  The special effects get interesting, and the plot gets into things like teleportation, time travel, undead vampires, and the previous Soviet experiments into these areas, which Putin would probably carry on. In the end, we wonder if these nice kids are the same reincarnated party.

The official Facebook is here. The 2013 film has distribution by IFC, and was made in the UK and Russia.   The DVD includes a “making of” bonus. 
The film can be rented on YouTube for $3.99.   

Wikipedia attribution for map of Urals. 

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