Devil’s Pass

I got this suggestion from a horror group on Facebook (always a good place to get good options for suggestions on movies to watch) and on watching it liked it a lot. Devil’s Pass is a 2013 Russian film directed by Renny Harlin & written by Vikram Weet and starring Holly Goss, Matt Stokoe, Luke Albright, Ryan Hawley, and Gemma Atkinson as Americans who investigate the Dyatlov Pass incident. It is shot in the style of found footage.

Holly & her friend Jenson get a grant to go to Russia and shoot a documentary about a story that has fascinated Holly for a long time – the mysterious death of 9 Russian climbers who were crossing the Dyatlov Pass (now named that after the leader of the expedition) in the Ural mountains. The answers about their death having been unanswered for over 50 years – their tents had been frantically torn open from the inside, their bodies had suffered massive internal trauma, and their clothing contained high levels of radiation. Conspiracy theoriests have toss various stuff like military coverup and alien visitation as possible explanations. Holly manages to get two expert climbers from their university, JP & Andy and rope in Denise as the sound engineer. The 5 of them go to Russia and try to speak to one of the skiers who was supposed to be part of the original expedition back in 1959 but are denied access and find the now old man showing up a sign that tells them to turn back. At a bar they meet Sergei who introduces them to his aunt Ilya who was part of the rescue team back in 59 and she tells them that they found a small machine and 11 dead bodies, not 9 as was widely reported and that 2 of the bodies had something wrong with them. This mystery intrigues the group even more and they go on the expedition.

Once they reach the area they hear howling and find large bare footprints in the snow when they wake up the next morning which suddenly stop in the snow and they cannot explain what it is. The next day this happens again and when they find a weather tower and investigate, they find a severed human tongue. Denise wants to leave but the others convince her to stay and continue on. At night by the fire, Holly & Jenson fail to see two white figures who appear and disappear in the hills. The next day they reach Dyatlov’s Pass earlier than it says on the map. Andy & JP are further spooked when their equipments start malfunction and GPS is not working. While alone in the evening Holly & Jenson use a Geiger counter that leads them to a bunker in a cave that locks from the outside – meaning to keep whatever is inside from getting out. Early in the morning they hear rumblings and explosions that cause a massive avalanche and Denise is killed while Andy suffers a bad fracture. As soon as daylight arrives they shoot a flare and are approached by two Russian soldiers and suspicious of their sudden arrival, Andy makes the other 3 run away. Andy is killed by them and JP is shot but Holly & Jenson manage to drag him into the bunker and close the door.

Leaving JP in a corner the other two explore the bunker and find a dead soldier with his tongue missing. They also find a pile of dead bodies including two dead mutants on a medical table and also something they can’t explain – they find a handheld camera, the same model as the one they have with them now and it shows the exact same footage they have shot! Stunned they look for answers but the battery of that camera dies out. Notes in Russian show the profiles of the 9 Russians skiers who were killed in 1959 along with photos of the Philadelphia experiment which leads Jenson to deduce that the incidents here are tied to that teleportation conspiracy. Soon they are attacked by teleporting mutants who kill JP and chase Holly & Jenson into a sealed room behind which is a natural cave that leads into a wormhole. Unwilling to starve to death or face the mutants, Jensen and Holly choose to step into the wormhole, which sends them back in time. Since there are no controls, Jensen suggests that they visualize a nearby destination. Holly suggests the bunker entrance, and they enter the wormhole. In the next scene, the Russian military in 1959 discover two bodies, recover a camcorder, turn away Sergei’s aunt Alya, and hang the bodies on meat hooks inside the bunker, which is fully operational and manned. In the final shot, the bodies are revealed to be Holly and Jensen, transformed into mutants (and the dead mutant bodies they found on metal tables).

Good ending, the movie is slow to pick up pace but never gets boring at all and the story is decent with an able cast. Really interesting and way better than most found footage movies. The movie explains that the Russian military classified the data but it was hacked and shared around the world via the internet. 7.5 outta 10!

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