High LaneJune 24, 2009
A group of friends on vacation decide to venture onto a trail high up in the mountains that has been closed for repairs…
Release Year: 2009
Rating: 5.6/10 (2,584 voted)
Stars: Fanny Valette, Johan Libéreau, Raphaël Lenglet
A group of friends on vacation decide to venture onto a trail high up in the mountains that has been closed for repairs. The climb proves more perilous than planned, especially as they soon realize that they are not alone. The adventure turns into a nightmare.
Writers: Johanne Bernard, Louis-Paul Desanges
Release Date: 24 June 2009
Filming Locations: Aussois, Savoie, France
When I heard about some french horror situated in Croatia, I was
overjoyed. Beautiful Croatian scenery combined with exciting climbing
scenes coupled with a classic slasher plot line.. perfect movie for the
Boy, was I wrong.
First of all, yes, I knew beforehand that the movie was an utter ripoff
of Descent/Wrong Turn. However I like both of those movies and am not
necessarily against ripping off if it is done well – after all, it's
hard to film a slasher flick and be original. Unfortunately, Vertige
does it anything BUT well.
Right off the bat, we are introduced to the most unlikeable bunch of
future cannon fodder you have ever seen. It doesn't help that they are
as one-dimensional as possible – you have a "climber", "climber's
girlfriend", a girl who is a "doctor", "doctor's hunky ex-boyfriend"
and "doctor's current vertigo-ridden boyfriend". This is as far as the
movie goes with characterizations. Oh, and I forgot, they are also
utter morons with a survival instinct of a lobotomized dodo. It also
doesn't help that the actors portraying those characters, are, well,
let's say that they should perhaps try to find some other ventures in
the future. Especially the vertigo guy who constantly mixes "being
scared" expression with the "heavily constipated" one.
After realizing that, barring some miracle, I'm stuck with these folks
for an hour and a half, I at least settled in the notion that I will be
looking at some nice Risnjak scenery. Tough luck – whoever made this
flick probably chose "Croatia" and "Risnjak" purely because they sound
sorta exotic – the scenery doesn't look anything like Croatia's
National Park of the same name – strike two.
But there's the plot, right? *Sigh*. Our gang decides to go via some
"closed down" route with the "longest footbridge in Europe". By the
way, Croatians have built this longest footbridge as a part of the
route that goes absolutely nowhere. This is a plot point.
Once they cross the footbridge, it falls apart despite being clearly
shown as made from shiny new parts and having at least five redundant
safety wires. Well, that's Croatians for you, not only do they build
Europe's longest footbridges to nowhere, they also create bridge
support points out of legos and spit.
This is the first half of the movie, with the thrills mostly having to
do with the oh-so-irritating vertigo guy hyperventilating and falling
over ledges (remember, legos and spit). The second half introduces some
insane Croat called Anton Zukarech (which sounds as Croatian as "John
Wayne", but I digress). This guy starts killing the poor French idiots,
because, uh, well, just because. And it's hard NOT to root for him
because our hikers do all but tattoo "cut here" lines on their necks
and bicker about who gets to bite the dust first.
The rest of the movie is mostly listening to groans and screams,
watching our heroes acting like idiots some more for the plot to plod
forward, witnessing painfully obvious continuity mistakes (trivia fact:
in Croatia it takes ten minutes to go from midnight to high noon) and
God is this movie ever going to end.. Anton, man, what's taking you so
After the last scene (groan), cue the final insult – the director chose
to inform us that there are "3270 unexplained disappearances in the
Balkans". I don't even have to check for the fact that this talentless
hack pulled this number out of his ass, mostly because "Balkans" is
probably the hardest geographical region to define and would hardly be
used in any statistics. I guess he didn't want to anger the Croats too
much and blatantly fabricate some statistical data about imaginary
disappearances in Croatia itself. Too late, he already angered not just
Croats but everyone else duped into seeing this dreck.
I have utterly disliked this movie. There are no scares, no thrills,
there is some gore if you are into that sort of thing, but most of the
time the movie is nearly unwatchable. The protagonists are paper-thin
characters who are so unbelievably irritating you are actively rooting
for Anton to put them out of their misery, which cannot happen soon
enough. Seriously, seeing this movie through in one sitting is an
exercise in masochism.
I give it a 2/10, mostly because it's short and some of the scenery is
nice (although it's not Croatia but French Alps). But you are SO better
off watching Descent or Wrong Turn instead. Or any other American
slasher B-movie for that matter.
P.S. In the last five years, 1,457 French doctors had random flashbacks
that have had nothing to do with anything whatsoever.