Last time Renny Harlin headed for snow-capped mountains it was to shoot people and blow shit up in the sort-of classic Sylvester Stallone vehicle Cliffhanger. His latest climbing trip is less heavy on the bombast, trading it for found-footage mystery and mad conspiracy theories. In the US it's been re-named Devil's Pass, but here in the UK it's still going by its original moniker The Dyatlov Pass Incident. Slight warning: the film works best if you go into it completely blind, so while there aren't really spoilers in the trailer, you might want to skip it anyway.
This is all, as the clip says, based on actual events. The real incident took place in 1959, when nine hikers on a skiing trip in the Russian Ural mountains were killed in extremely odd circumstances. There were no survivors to explain why, in temperatures around −30°C, the group apparently tore open their tent from the inside, and headed out into the snow in their bare feet.
The bodies, when found, showed no signs of struggle, but significant internal injuries consistent with enormous pressure. One corpse was missing its tongue, and some were found to be highly radioactive. The inquest could only conclude that the nine had been victims of "a compelling unknown force." The pass is now named after the expedition's leader, Igor Dyatlov.
As you'll see from the trailer, Harlin's film involves five ambitious American students given a grant to investigate the incident, who retrace the victims' journey. This proves to be a mistake, since they're soon bothered by strange and terrifying phenomena suggesting that the forces behind the original mystery have been waiting fifty-odd years for a repeat performance. Empire has seen the film, and without giving away too much it's fair to say that its answers to the incident's many questions are enjoyably and amusingly insane.
Roughly speaking, Renny Harlin's directing career has alternated between action and horror. There's the aforementioned Cliffhanger, the criminally underrated The Long Kiss Goodnight, 2011's excellent Five Days Of August, and of course, Die Hard 2: Die Harder. But before Bruce Willis there was Freddy Krueger (Harlin directed the fourth Nightmare On Elm Street), and he's since brought us Mindhunters, The Covenant, and The Exorcist: The Beginning. This trip to the Urals then, is not unprecedented, despite not involving anything exploding.
The Dyatlov Pass Incident stars Gemma Atkinson, Matt Stokoe, Richard Reid, Holly Goss and Luke Albright, and is out in the UK on August 23. The US has this poster, which creatively employs an image that appears nowhere in the film.