Written Johanne Bernard & Louis-Paul Desanges
Directed by Abel Ferry
August 18, 2009. The mountains of Croatia. Five friends (and in some instances, I use that term loosely) are out for a bit of adventure as they plan to climb to a remote location high in the sky. Once they arrive at the base of the mountain, though, the path is sealed off. No worries, says their fearless leader, Fred. We'll just climb around it.
About the midway point in their trip, they reach a narrow and rather dangerous looking footbridge, which they have to cross to get from one peak to another. When Fred informs us all that once they get across the bridge, there's no way down on that side, we know precisely what's going to happen.
And happen it does: the bridge collapses, leaving our intrepid explorers stranded on the mount with no discernable route back to level ground.
One accident is just that--an accident. Two accidents is bad luck. But three accidents? Four? That means someone is trying to kill you. In this case, a nameless unseen hermit who lives in these parts and doesn't wish to be disturbed by anyone. Especially a group of pretty youngsters with all of their silly soap opera antics.
I haven't seen a lot of French films, I admit. But the ones that I have seen, I've really enjoyed. They all possessed a certain visceral visual element that is all too often watered down in American cinema. So I went into this one expecting, if not greatness, something new and exciting.
Okay, I did enjoy this film. Quite a bit, actually. There was plenty of excitement, suspense, and action. There were some amazing shots to be found, and enough bloodshed to please the horror fan. So what's the problem? Nothing really...except I've seen this all before.
High Lane is, in all honesty, Wrong Turn on a mountain. It's a decent flick with moments of greatness, but nothing more. It would have been better served as sheer survival horror (like Frozen, or the lesser-known but equally good The Canyon), rather than morphing it into a slasher movie partway through. My biggest problem with the film is that one of the characters is a doctor who, on occasion, suffers from random flashbacks to an event that took place at the hospital--an event that has nothing whatsoever to do with the rest of the film. Maybe this was a problem with the American edit or the translating (I saw the English-dubbed version), but I kept expecting these two halves to make a whole, and they never did.
Definitely worth a watch, but don't expect to have your socks rocked. Unless you get all weak in the knees when you hear a Supergrass song.
French (English dubbed)