Black Mountain Side

 

An independent horror movie created by Nick Szostakiwskyj from Vancouver, BC. The story is set in an isolated archaeological site in northern Canada. A small team makes an important discovery when they unearth a structure buried beneath the snow. Shortly after the arrival of a government scientist sent to verify the findings the team begins to experience strange happenings.

As a story of madness spreading through a group of individuals I think it was a success. Each person experiences the horror in a very personal way with their reactions often terrorizing the group. No common enemy appears for them to unite against and even after the mystery is “solved” events are too far along to stop, adding some hopelessness to the story. There are moments where they unite to hack off a limb but each more often than not each person is isolated with their terror.

The story is occasionally unpolished. Elements are explained by paranoia and madness but the attempts to make them otherworldly don’t always stick too well. I like the use of the “old god”-esque theme, it’s given more screen time to be explained but only comes into play after a dormant disease is revealed to be the culprit. 

Black Mountain Side does relate the horror that the characters are experiencing very well. Through hallucinations, distrust, isolation, lack of sleep and violence the characters slowly lose themselves to the force aligned against them.  The production itself is also incredibly well done, the location used for the shoot adds to the isolation in the story and the choice to not include a soundtrack forces you to focus on the horror in front of you

If you appreciate a horror movie that doesn’t use jump scares and instead tries to get you to understand the experience the characters are having I reccomend Black Mountain Side.

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