Devils Pass (2013)
This film just missed being an excellent sci-fi/horror film. A seriously good concept and plot can be found in this film. A documentary film crew sets out to investigate a true life mystery known as The Dyatlov Pass Incident, where a group of Russian ski-hikers died or went missing in 1959. The great ideas include a back story correlation to a rumored US military experiment gone wrong known as the Philadelphia Experiment. Sounds like a sci-fi fans dream movie. Where this film goes wrong is in its execution. Like turds in a dog park, this film is all over the place. It starts with the usual 1st person found footage format. After a half hour it becomes clear that a story this intricate can not possibly be told in this format. But the film treks on, confusing the viewer and concentrating on typical found footage film fodder — survivors blaming each other, yelling each other’s names in the dark — instead of the more interesting aspects of the original story it desperately wants to tell. When the ‘big reveal’ ending comes, it sputters out like dredge from a gutter rather than a tidal wave of discovery. There is a good story in here for those with patience and deciphering abilities but it is a frustrating endeavor. The presentation takes a competent slipstream /time travel idea and turns it into a mediocre (at best) reality TV show style reject.
I can only find this film disappointing for its potential unrealized.
I give it 1.5 dismal dunce-caps on the scale of suffering sci-fi dysfunction.