Found Footage offering Dark Mountain follows the exploits of three amateur filmmakers following up on a ghost mine location in the Arizona Dessert. Whilst the film offers a few new angles on this genre it also ‘borrows’ it’s fair share from the more classic Found Footage efforts…
15 Years And Counting
I was really looking forward to watching this film as it seemed to get a reasonably good reaction on it’s screening debut. As most Found Footage horror fans will know it’s getting harder and harder for these types of films to get positive reviews.
Unfortunately I noticed quite a few similarities to the independent film classic The Blair Witch Project. I’m trying not to be to picky here but it has been 15 years now so surely there are other avenues to travel down?
Similarities aside, it was quite a decent movie and some of the filmmaking decisions were damn fine ones! Tara Anaise wrote and directed the film and she opted for the inclusion of creepy sepia-toned shots.
These shots were used sparingly but they certainly managed to give the film something new and unique – they provided that added buffer of atmosphere.
The ghost mine location was set in the Arizona desert and this also gave the film it’s own natural beauty. I lost count of the amount of scenes that were breathtaking – again adding to the atmosphere and feel of the film.
The movie follows three filmmakers as they make their way to Superstition Mountains in the Arizona desert. These three are not after a desert holiday – they have set out to find the Lost Dutchman mine.
This Lost Dutchman mine was apparently used in the 1800’s to store away masses of gold. Supposedly an old miner by the name of Jacob Waltz knew the ghost mine location and he ‘lost’ his partner there when they first came across it.
This leads to the Arizona locals claiming that whoever ventures into the Superstition Mountains in search of this gold will never return ( a warning most of us would probably take notice of! ).
Our group of three are made up of Kate ( Sage Howard ), Paul ( Andrew Simpson ) and Ross ( Shelby Stehlin ). The whole project seems to be the brainchild of Kate and her quest for the truth. Paul is Kate’s loyal boyfriend and Ross is the joker of the pack.
So the three of them decide to ignore all the warnings and make their way to the ghost mine location they have been provided with…
So the film is a pretty solid Found Footage film but this tends to be for a reason – it pinches a lot off our good old friend the Blair Witch.
First off we have another group of THREE Filmmakers that decide to look into a legend they are warned not to f**k about with. The group of three is made up of two dudes and a girl ( ring any bells? ).
Before long the group realize they are deep in the brown stuff and decide to pack up their tents and head home. This proves easier said than done as they soon find out they are walking round in circles – continuously returning to their dreaded campsite!
It seemed to me that at times they had just taken the Blair Witch and placed it in the desert surroundings. Sure, the story was different but the events seemed much to close to what I saw fifteen years ago.
I did enjoy the film and I do think it’s worth watching – I’m just a little disappointed by it’s reliance on the Blair Witch.
The three main actors were all very strong in their roles and I took to each one of them with ease. The cinematography was brilliant due to a fabulous location being utilized fully.
The story was pretty good as well and this was even more infuriating – why did Tara Anaise feel the need to include so many over-used ideas? It’s not a deal breaker but it will give the ‘Found Footage haters’ something to scream and shout about.
Fans of this genre will enjoy the 82 minute jaunt but they will be left with the feeling that the film could of been great instead of good.