With a found-footage narrative similar to The Frankenstein Theory—film crew blunders into a frozen hell searching for answers to an unsolved mystery—Devil’s Pass provides sufficient diversions for an afternoon of chilly thrills.
Plus, it’s directed by former A-list filmmaker Renny Harlin (Cliffhanger, Die Hard 2, The Long Kiss Goodnight) who seems to have fallen off the map of late.
A five-person film crew from the University of Oregon (Woooot! Ducks represent!) retraces the steps of the Dyatlov Expedition, a Russian team that perished under mysterious circumstances in the Ural Mountains in 1959.
Why anyone would want to follow the path of a doomed expedition defies comprehension, but as team leader Holly King (Holly Goss) notes gleefully on camera, “We got a grant!”
Once they land in the former Soviet Union, the crew is bedeviled by a failing GPS navigator, huge footprints in the snow that randomly appear and disappear, and some scary sounds in the night.
All this leads to the discovery of a huge door in the mountainside and hints that the Russian military has been messing around with alien technology.
The finale of Devil’s Pass makes a passable attempt at explaining all the questions that have emerged during the movie’s running time, but it’s still kind of a train wreck.
So instead of yeti we get teleporting ghouls that maybe used to be human? Sure, ok, whatever. The bottom line is that it’s a grueling and unpredictable trip that’s worth taking.
Don’t trip over the plot holes along the way.