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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Devil's Pass" )

 

directed by Renny Harlin
USA/UK/Russia 2013

 

In 1959, a group of nine Russian hikers in the Ural Mountains - on a specific peak called the "Mountain of Death" by the local Mansi tribe for its history of disappearances and deaths - were discovered dead two weeks later, two with their skulls crushed, one missing a tongue, two simply frozen to death, one with radiation burns, and the others seemingly of hypothermia. Various explanations have been offered from hypothermic dementia, paradoxical undressing, or an avalanche, to more sinister explanations like aliens, a yeti, or government experiments. That event came to be known as "The Dyatlov Pass Incident" named after the lead hiker Igor Dyatlov, and the Russian government has been very hush-hush about the incident since (conspiracy theories have it that the author of a fictionalized account was murdered and his death made to look like a car accident).

Following Barry Levinson's take on "found footage" with THE BAY is somewhat mainstream director Renny Harlin's THE DYATLOV PASS INCIDENT - which will be given the dumbed-down DEVIL'S PASS title for its US release - and the results are staggeringly ordinary despite (or possibly because of) an unsatisfactory everything-but-the-kitchen-sink "explanation" for what is actually a very intriguing real-life unsolved mystery. It's technically well-made and the actors - a few British convincingly playing Americans - cannot be faulted for their portrayals of irritating "found footage" stereotypes; but there are no intriguing theories (or scares) to be found here for conspiracy theorists or anyone else. In 2008, Oregon psych student Holly (Holly Goss) is awarded a grant to do a film on the incident. She takes along douchebag conspiracy theorist filmmaker Jensen (Matt Stokoe, HOLLOW), hot sound engineer - zoom into tight sweater - Denise (Gemma Atkinson, AIBORNE), and experienced fratboy hikers Andy (Ryan Hawley) and legacy student J.P. (Luke Albright, PARANORMAL MOVIE). A month later, only their gear was found, and the seized footage from their cameras uploaded online by internet hackers. They arrive in Russia, ignore sinister omens, and learn from one of the members of the original search party that there were eleven bodies at the scene, not nine as the reports state. The quintet proceeds up the mountain and discover a strange bunker with its lock on the outside (as if to keep something in). In the night, they hear the usual strange noises and find sinister footprints (not to mention a human tongue), accuse one another of playing pranks or planting evidence for the film, and wonder if someone is trying to scare them off or if something is stalking them up the mountain.

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 28 February 2013 (Russia)

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DVD Review: Anchor Bay Entertainment - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

Anchor Bay Entertainment

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 1:36:03 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.29 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio English Dolby Digital 5.1; English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Making-of (16:9; 9:47)
• Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 1:50)

DVD Release Date: August 26th, 2013
Amaray

Chapters 12

 

Comments

Anchor Bay's dual-layer DVD is top-notch in video and audio (5.1 and 2.0 mixes strangely labeled "Dolby 5.1" and "2.0 stereo" despite both being Dolby Digital encodings), although the Blu-ray edition (HERE) likely has the edge in readability during the intentionally murky bunker scenes. The only extras are the film's theatrical trailer and a making-of featurette.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Anchor Bay Entertainment

Region 2 - PAL

 




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