Nothing "Killer" About Syfy's "Killer Mountain"
Country: United States
Release Date: August 27, 2011
Distributor: Oracle Post
· Sheldon Wilson
· Aaron Douglas
· Paul Campbell
· Curtis Caravaggio
· Torrance Coombs
· Crystal Lowe
· IMDb Page
· Screened.com Page
Movie Review: Killer Mountain
by Eric Deters
Published: August 31, 2011
It's often fairly frustrating when a movie with an interesting premise fails due to reasons that could have easily been avoided. “Killer Mountain” may not be the most original film ever produced, but there’s a concept or two that are worth exploring more deeply; but the movie falls severely short due to encompassing that idea with boring (yet well-acted) characters, a contrived, uninteresting plot, and some laughable CGI.
The movie follows mountain climber Ward when he’s called back in to action when a mysterious contractor named Rogers asks him to help a team that he’s assembled to find “something” deep in the mountain range where contact was lost with a large squad -- one that included Ward’s girlfriend, Kate. Ward sets off alongside Tyler, Chance, and Nina to rescue Kate and continue the expedition that Rogers tasked them with.
The vagueness about what the crew is exploring the mountains to find is irksome at first (it becomes even moreso when they discover what it is and continuously mispronounce what they’re searching for), and makes the plot hard to invest in, and by extension, the characters as well. As I stated before, the characters aren’t poorly acted by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s not exactly a challenge to portray boring, two-dimensional characters.
It’s really a shame that the story isn’t very interesting, because there’s an idea or two near the end of the film (no spoilers) that are pretty intriguing, but it’s hard to say that it’s worth watching the entire film.
The former half of the title is invoked with the monstrous being that ended the lives of Rogers’ previous crew and is now hunting down the crew Ward leads. Honestly speaking, the monster looks silly. I don’t say this simply because I’ve been absolutely spoiled by CGI (thank you, “Avatar”), but John Carpenter’s “The Thing” came out in 1982 and still looks leagues better than this monster. It kind of goes to show that practical effects are often the way to go for smaller budgets, and that is most definitely the case here.
Speaking of “The Thing,” this film seems to be going for a horror feel similar to John Carpenter’s masterpiece (gushing will end in a moment), but never reaches it. Tension is built in such odd ways and then relieved literally seconds later so often that there is no suspense at all. Contrast this with “The Thing,” where wonderfully built up tension is practically constant through the film, despite the lack of any cheap jump scare moments, which are prevalent throughout “Killer Mountain."
If anything, this comparison sums up my feelings on SyFy’s latest TV movie. Even below average CGI is still outshined by practical effects, thoughtful design, and genuine storytelling. This review is going up after the film aired last Saturday, August 27 -- but if it airs again, do yourself a favor and watch another monster movie (I’ve heard “The Thing” is pretty good).