I’ve never seen the fascination with spending your leisure time participating in so called extreme sports or hobbies. There’s nothing relaxing about the possibility of drowning, falling out of airplanes, or anything else that raises your probability of death to ‘You lucky bastard’ if you survive. Adrenaline junkies as they like to be referred to are not your average homo sapiens, no sir, because a few decades ago these individuals would have been burned at the stake or at least sectioned under the mental health act for their antics. Let’s face it, there is nothing cool or sexy about wanting to spend your weekends cheating death and spending obscene amounts of currency doing it.
I get extremely irritated by journalists that expect me to be inspired by stories of idiots who have bungee jumped off a cliff, and escaped with only a broken leg when something has gone horribly wrong, because frankly, if he had gone to the pub like everyone else he would have escaped with a mere hangover, as most of the pubs I know aren’t built on the edge of a dangerous precipice (probably due to the fact that a large percentage of a drinking establishments clientele aren’t terribly good at navigating dangerous terrain when they leave).
My point being that generally, those that avoid life threatening situations don’t have their life threatened. It sounds like common sense doesn’t it?
And yet …
Vertige is the story of a group of friends who go rock climbing together in the mountains. Vertigo, tension between exes, and some pretty scary trails are doing their best to spoil the fun of hanging by suspiciously thin ropes hundreds of feet in the air, but as with all good horror films, there is plenty more to be worried about than being forced to trust your girlfriends ex not to tamper with your climbing equipment.
Vertige is a gripping action/thriller meets hillbilly horror in the Balkans. The dialogue is intelligent without being flowery or twee and the FX are outstanding and even breathtaking at times. The French really are putting their American counterparts to shame with the high tension, high drama and high class production values of films such as this.
Comparisons with The Hills Have Eyes and The Descent are indeed warranted but the film easily surpasses both by combining their themes and producing a cinematically beautiful and suspenseful hybrid.
Just remember kiddiwinks, extreme activities can lead to extreme (mostly far fetched in this case) consequences which is why watching a film about rock climbing is as close to an adrenaline rush as I’d like to get.