Friday, June 8, 2018

Black Mountain Side, The Perils of Discovery

"Aha! We found it!" The sounds of discovery...precious. In horror films these words are followed by oohs and ahhhs, but in short time the screaming starts. Yep, you found it...or did it find you? Or better yet, did it want to be found? You rescued a little mystery for the world to see...a real scientific breakthrough. In a classic horror film theme, some things should stay lost...hence 2014's "Black Mountain Side."
They found it! Found what? Not important. Canada's northern most scientific outpost, located in the mountains, is isolated from civilization. The crew unearths an ancient structure built by a long gone civilization.  What happened to that civilization? Enter Professor Olsen (Michael Dickson). He is airlifted in to help figure out what this thing is. His expertise will only increase the mystery. This setting almost mirrors Outpost 31, from "John Carpenter's The Thing." There is even a Giles (Marc Anthony Williams). Alcohol, old video games, and games of chance occupy the staff's time. Jensen (Shane Twerdun) emerges as the sanest of the bunch (...that is not saying much), and he drinks like MacReady did in the aforementioned film. There is a radio which connects them to Canada, but that won't last.
Okay...isolation is a prevalent plot device. Then the weirdness starts, not including the weird structure that hovers over this plot. A cat is slain in a ritualistic manner. The radio stops working. The intern, Wells, gets sick (Steve Bradley). The cold (which reached negative 50 degrees), an increasing eeriness concerning the ancient structure, voices and apparent insanity converge on our protagonists. When it is revealed that a parasite has entered Wells body, a Lovecraftian horror also enters the plot...think octopus! Horror begets gore, as the crew must axe off Wells' arm. More gore and carnage will follow as Olsen witnesses all those around him losing any connection to reality. But is everyone going insane or has the outpost been invaded by an evil force that everyone but Olsen sees?
Doom and dread are woven into this story. You will have to ask yourself if the antagonist is otherworldly or in the psyche of flawed humans.  Watching this film evolve is horrifying as we are on the look-out for something emanating from a mysterious monolith, human deterioration, and perhaps a tentacled menace growing inside the unfortunate team. "Black Mountain Side" will creep you out and have you thinking about what you just saw days after the end credits roll. Beautifully shot in British Columbia (Cameron Tremblay, a producer and director of photography), this Nick Szostakiwskyj story is one that would please fans of "The Thing" and H.P. Lovecraft stories.


  1. Never even heard of this one & very nice review Christopher will check it out & thanks for the heads up on it.

  2. There's poetry resonating out of this review, collectively, are we becoming dumber with the internet, good questions. Its Nature saying tune in and get a grip before we all succumb down to trending hashtags. And is BC just another reality TV set?

  3. Add me to the list I've never heard of this film Christopher! You paint good picture by way of review!