Devil’s Pass

discs toad road

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. Toad Road James (James Davidson) is a slacker, but that shouldn’t be mistaken for meaning he sits around all day doing nothing. Instead, he sits around all day smoking, popping, and snorting anything he and his friends can get their hands on, but that starts to change when he meets the new girl, Sara (Sara Anne Jones). She’s new to the drug scene, he introduces her, and she gets hooked just as he wants out. He agrees to one last trip with her. Shrooms in hand, the two head out to the legendary Toad Road to investigate rumors of the seven gates of hell. It goes according to plan until he wakes up to discover she’s disappeared. Writer/director Jason Banker’s debut feature is low budget, raw, messy, unsure of itself, and yet oddly mesmerizing. The “horror” element introduced via the title feels almost like an afterthought added to make the film more marketable, but the core of the film works as a frequently intense and often painful look at the obvious and not so obvious struggles that come with drug addiction. The doomed love story adds to the film’s tragic allure, but the real life fate of Miss Jones sadly cements it. [DVD extras: Commentary with writer/director Jason Banker and friends, deleted scenes, featurettes, booklet]

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Devil

Most found footage movies can be summed up thusly: dumb people made terrible decisions and decided to film it because they never imagined their ideas were ever stupid. Enter these intrepid young explorers featured in the trailer for Renny Harlin’s new horror film Devil’s Pass, who are about get a little more than they bargained for when they retrace the steps of the infamous Dyatlov Pass Incident. The incident is a true story; in 1959, Igor Dyatlov took nine ski hikers through the Ural Mountains in Russia, only to never be seen alive again. Their bodies were recovered over the course of two months, but nobody could ever figure out what really happened to the crew. Of course, that’s not stopping the film from coming up with its own theories with the help of the new explorers. The trailer essentially spells out the entire plot of the movie (seriously, if you want to see this, don’t watch) from the first day of hiking, to the hikers’ serious signs of trouble. There are zombies, or monsters of some kind with long fingernails and stringy hair hiding in them there hills. Russian mutants? Other lost hikers? It’s hard to tell, because in traditional and true found footage fashion, the shaky hand cam makes it hard to see what’s going on as our poor protagonists run for their lives. Check it out after the break.

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published: 11.21.2014
D
published: 11.21.2014
B+
published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C


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