Blood in the Snow 2014: Black Mountain Side Review

Black Mountain Side

Black Mountain Side is a bare bones thriller that’s smart enough to play to its strengths rather than highlight its weaknesses. In its simplicity, it’s quite entertaining and effective.

In a desolate location in Northern Canada, a group of archeologists uncover a strange structure.  Carbon dating shows the structure as over 10,000 years old, which is scientifically impossible.  As these men go back and forth on what the structure could be, they feel the creeping dread of isolation. Strange things start to happen, and as much as they want to point the finger at each other, they can’t rectify the mysterious origins of the structure or their descent into madness.

Writer/director Nick Szostakiwskyj puts together a lean and mean feature that borrows from some pretty good movies, but crafts a genuine sense of dread, thanks to the remote setting. It moves well and does a fine job of crafting interpersonal relationships of people who are isolated in the middle of nowhere. There isn’t a reliance on cheap scares or visual effects, but there’s plenty of atmosphere. The ensemble cast is strong across the board, too.

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Black Mountain Side does what a lot of independent genre films try and fail to achieve, and it does simple very well. (Dave Voigt)

Screens

Sunday, November 30th, Carlton Cinema, 4:15pm and 6:45pm

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