Writing and Reviews – Denise Pasutti
The Gist: (Also known as The Dyatlov Pass Incident) Five young filmmakers retrace the steps of a doomed group of hikers in pursuit of an unsolvable mystery.
The Snowy Expedition: Holly Goss (Holly King), Matt Stokoe (Jensen Day), Luke Albright (JP Hauser Jr.), Ryan Hawley (Andy Thatcher), Gemma Atkinson (Denise Evers)
My Take: A group of college students decide to head to Russia in search of answers to a 50 year mystery surrounding the deaths of 9 Russian hikers on the Mountain of the Dead. So, here we have a found footage flick in the mountains. The first hour of this movie is somewhat boring as the people journey from America to snowy Russia in search of answers. There are lots of childish banter and flirting as we are introduced to the characters and the journey progresses. They try to contact 2 members of the search party who found the corpses of the original missing nine hikers but one is in a mental institution and they can’t gain access to him. The other, a now 70-year-old woman, tells the group that there were 11 people found on the mountain, not 9, however there is no record or photos of the other 2. After stopping to have drink, they head into the wild and begin the hike up the mountain to where the 9 were found dead.
Yes, it is as boring as it sounds. The old woman’s story, I didn’t really follow other than the additional people that were undocumented and really, the characters interactions are not that interesting. Once they arrive at the site, strange shit starts to happen like mysterious footprints in the snow in the morning and unusual noises that can’t be explain. Oh and they discover a bunker buried in the snow but don’t go in; I guess because of fear of radiation? During the night there is an avalanche, one of the group dies another is badly injured but that’s not the worst of it as the next morning two soldiers show up and start shooting at the rest of the group. They seek refuge in the bunker only to be attacked by messed up looking alien like creatures who seem to be able to teleport, like Nightcrawler from X-Men. The remaining two survivors seek shelter from the creatures, that didn’t attack them for some reason, in a room with a freaky portal like thing in the side of the mountain. What is this movie about? They finally decide to go through the portal and poof, they are back in 1959 but they are now the creatures?
Final Thoughts: Alright, so maybe I wasn’t paying as much attention to this as I should have been to understand what was going on but it was really not that interesting from the start. I like mysteries from history and the tale of the 9 missing hikers could have been interesting but I think it was the found footage aspect I didn’t like and I just didn’t care for the characters. I’m not sure if this is an alien movie or a time travel movie but there is reference made to the Philadelphia Experiment lending to the idea of governments messing with teleportation and such. This could have been interesting but it falls short with a dull lead up to the mysterious bunker, unlikable characters and the most interesting parts being in the last 20ish minutes of the flick.
Good review! It pretty much mirrors mine. I had expected this to be a return to form, somewhat, for Harlin but no go. It was boring, uninteresting and even the last act could not really salvage the flick. Too bad.
Thanks! Yeah, the trailer makes it look more interesting than it is. Just too damn dull.
So is there any truths to this film besides the original 9 ? Or No?
Hi there. How much truth is in the movie….probably not a lot other then the touch on it being based on a true story. If you’re interested in the Dyatlov Pass story I suggest listening to episode 152 of the podcast ‘The Last Podcast on the Left’. Grim humour but they delve into the history of the incident.