To determine what happened to a group of young Russian hikers, five U.S. college students go back to where the hikers were found dead.
Devil’s Pass a.k.a The Dyatlov Pass Incident (2013) is a return to form for Renny Harlin, this offering is an epic compared to Legend of Hercules. With a scifi fictional spin on the tragic true story of Dyatlov Pass, where nine people lost their lives writer Vikram Weet’s convincing script and link to the Philadelphia Experiment, Bigfoot and other UFO conspiracies keeps Harlin’s technically well made film intriguing throughout.
Comparable to Exists (2014) with lots of camera’s to give coverage, as with most POV camera films it comes with the clichés synonymous with that style. Harlin thankfully makes its look easier to pull off than it actually is in this mystery thriller. That said, Devil’s Pass would have been as just as interesting as the team trace the original 1959 ill fated expedition if it had been shot traditionally.
The unnecessary CGI effects of the creatures in the closing aside, the on location shoot is notable, it feels authentic, the cast are natural and sets in the latter half are well made along with the practical effects. The avalanche scene is outstanding and eerily realistically executed. The rural Russian and mountain setting offers plenty of atmosphere and the supporting cast who play the locals are notable.
Overall, although slow burning, if you like hand-held films, the acting and story twist makes it a worth while venture.