This is an achievement. A fine achievement. It’s not easy to make a film which lifts it’s very essence from Deliverance, and similar. Of cause, there are others, which have trodden the same plot. Hills Have Eyes is close, The Descent and more recently Cold Prey. So how dose Vertige stand up?
It’s the same old tired plot. Yes we’ve seen this time and again. Friends head off to the country for a week of climbing and escaping the troubles of their real world, only to be met with trauma in the shape of a crazed mad-mad, hell bent on murder and flesh slashing. We’ve had this plot before, but never with such a stunning cinematography, used to emphasis the stunningness of the Croatian countryside and the amazing mountain range.
The friends head off into the mountains allowing the young Abel Ferry to Direct an amazing looking movie. The backdrop is stunning, which makes this film the magical slice of cinema that it is. The first 45 mins are outstanding and probably the most scary, especially pushing the cast across a vast walkway between a huge gaping crevice, high up in the mountains. This scene along had me on the edge of my seat, and this was well before anyone starts getting hacked n slashed. After some dangerous climbing, the characters find themselves trapped in the hills with some creepy stuff going on. Traps and darkness and spookiness, bundled up in a bag of death.
I really enjoyed this film. It’s fresh and delightful to watch. The cast are cool and realistic with their characters. The plot flows well, shifting direction on quite a few points, which allows the cast to really emphasis some great traits. The gore is good and some nasty situations arise. It’s got a cracking ending too, again, not what you could expect with some real human elements at play.
It still surprises me that a film maker can take this plot and manipulate it into something looking so fresh and original. I’ve said this before, the French are top of the game at the moment and here it’s very easy to see why. Fine.