Spoilers follow ...
- Black Mountain review by NP
… or ‘Black Mountain Side’ as it is sometimes known, is a story that has much in common with John Carpenter’s ‘The Thing (1982)’, but made with a fraction of the budget. For an independent film, it boasts great cinematography, convincing acting and good sound design. The occasional effects are believable, but there are really too few of them.
Or perhaps I should say, there is too much of everything else. Even shorn of twenty minutes, this would still be a slow-burner, saved to a certain extent by the characters (all men), who are believable and share a sense of chemistry with each other. But it is just too dull, I’m sorry to say. There’s little pace, momentum or even atmosphere which is surprising given the excellent location. The views of the wonderfully crisp snowy backdrop of are fairly static and often looks like the same shot repeated.
Things happen, certain characters become affected – there is a terrific moment when one of them, apparently randomly, cuts off his hand – all powerfully staged. But there’s no build up from that. The slow reveal of the evil spirit is nicely restrained, and represents a high point.
I really wanted to like this more than I did. In its favour, it has a Lovecraftian ‘vibe’ to it, but that’s never much more than a vague suggestion. Even the ending is decidedly perfunctory and after nearly two hours, that is a shame.
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