BLACK MOUNTAIN SIDE is a strange movie. Despite being heavily flawed, it didn’t suck. I loved what the filmmakers were trying to do if not what they actually accomplished.
The movie starts off as a sort of homage to John Carpenter’s THE THING. In the remote northern Canadian wilderness, a group of archaeologists welcome a newcomer to the camp and show him an ancient structure, its roof jutting above the snow, Mesoamerican in architecture and dated to the last Ice Age, around 14,000 BC. Soon, the camp ends up cut off from the outside, the native workers aiding in the excavation flee, and the archaeologists end up succumbing to a strange disease or madness, seemingly instigated by a godlike being.
The resulting effort is fairly uneven. The THING vibe is great, as is the Canadian wilderness and the intrigue and mystery surrounding the structure, which unfortunately turns out to be a MacGuffin. The acting and dialogue are similarly uneven, switching between realistic and stilted, natural and forced. The actors had a strange habit of leaving doors open in a freezing environment described as lethal. All of that would have been okay if the story had stuck to a single threat and stayed focused on it, and if the structure had been explored further.
So BLACK MOUNTAIN SIDE for me was flawed, but something about it was compelling and strangely likeable.