|Movie: Donner Pass
Studio: Arroyo Filmworks
Director: Elise Robertson
Stars: Joel Stoffer, Erik Stocklin, Desiree Hall
Length: 86 Minutes
Sub-Genre: Cannibal, Thriller
Plot: More than 150 years after a party of settlers came to a gruesome end in the snowbound Donner Pass, a group of teenagers on a ski trip are horrified to discover that someone in the area still has a voracious appetite for human flesh.
Review: The story of George Donner and his party back in the 1800’s who turned cannibalistic never ceases to die. There have been many horror movies of this same premise, most notably Ravenous and the aptly named The Donner Party that starred Crispin Glover. At least Donner Pass is not a dated piece albeit this movie does start with an opening sequence spent back in time that sort of explains the story.
There are a few minimalistic changes in Donner Pass but nothing particularly exciting explaining. The basic idea is that when you eat the flesh of a human it gives you all sorts of power, cravings and hunger for more human flesh; a wendigo, and a dozen more movies in the same vain. It’s always better making sure that the human meat is fresh which gives you even more visions and strength.
In Donner Pass you are following a bunch of high school students who are out for a good time in the Nevada mountains. The story almost flows like a slasher, you have stalkings (extremely poor ones at that), killings and dumb teenagers that do the opposite things that you would, if you were put into a situation like this. Suffice it to say, the movie drug at times with stupid kid antics and annoying character portrayals.
The acting was hit and miss, with some being bearable and others being utterly annoying. There are a few positives; the film was shot well, the action was discernable and pleasing at times taking place in the snow. And the soundtrack was decent for this style horror movie, nothing outstanding but it did work. Now onto a few negatives; CGI snow and blaring green scenes while in the cars, quite pitiful to be honest. Plus, the climax of the movie was such a let down, predictable, retarded and uneventful.
Finalizing my review of Donner Pass, I would like to throw this out to writers and filmmakers; how about this idea; get off these old legends and stories that have been done umpteen times. You could have had the same movie without ever mentioning the Donner Party with very minor changes. Give us viewers a break because Donner Pass is getting docked a few points simply for rehashing the same old myth. My final words are this; Donner Pass is a run of the mill movie that falls flat on many fronts, chalk this up as an avoid.
| Reviewer: BillChete
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