Saturday, February 6, 2016
'Black Mountain Side' DVD: Ancient Threat in Forest Primeval
The recent Monarch Home Entertainment DVD release of the 2014 horror film "Black Mountain Side" shows that the terror (rather than slasher or grindhouse) films of the '70s and '80s are not entirely a thing of the past. Elements that keep this one fresh include defying a horror film cliche that is comparable to the almost universal (pun intended) fate of the "Star Trek" crew members who wear red shirts. Another quasi-spoiler is that watching the film will evoke thoughts of "Oh. Deer." and "the buck stops here."
An apt comparison to the John Carpenter classic horror film "The Thing" refers to "Mountain" telling the tale of a small group of scientists in the Canadian wilderness experiencing increasing terror after discovering a mysterious stone structure and finding several inexplicable artifacts. Staying true to the spirit of "Thing" and holding the attention of the audience throughout the film are factors regarding "Mountain" receiving the award for "Best Horror Flick" at the Fanasia International Film Festival.
The tension in "Mountain" nicely builds as the weirdness escalates from discovering an apparently purely psychotic act and odd behavior by the native workers to increasingly severe illness and psychosis among the small stranded crew. The lack of radio communication and the delayed supply plane are standard (but well-utilized) elements.
Keeping things somewhat realistic and not resorting to over-the-top acting or effects help all of this work. Weird stuff does happen in real life and being isolated in a frigid area that is only getting five hours of sun each day can compound the impact of anomalies and creepy folklore. As mentioned above. defying even one well-established horror film cliche sets members of this genre apart from those that closely follow the formula for them.
The extras include a director's commentary and a "behind-the-scenes" documentary.
Anyone with questions or comment regarding "Mountain" is encouraged to email me. You can also connect on Twitter via @tvvdvdguy.