Cast: Fanny Valette, Raphael Lenglet
Direction: Abel Ferry
Rating: 2 and half
Not to be mistaken for Alfred Hitchcock’s classic of the same name, this French import marks the feature film debut of the prize-winning shorts director, Abel Ferry.
Utilising the horror-thriller genre, he strives to terrify the viewer for a relentless 80-odd minutes. A high-altitude adventure that is short on story material but high on camera dazzlery, Vertigo is an amalgam of Vertical Limit, The Hills Have Eyes and similar slipshod shockers.
Admittedly, the opening sequence is an attention grabber as we join a ragtag group of friends who embark on a climbing trip in the Balkans. Expectedly, the crags and crevices of the cliff face prove to be treacherous.
Their expedition is complicated even further when they are attacked by a psychotic cannibal. The plot is avowedly used a peg to hang the gory skirmishes on the hostile terrain.
The outcome of the mission as well as the fate of the reckless climbers couldn’t be more predictable. Also, despite the precipitous settings, the film rarely manages to evoke a sense of vertiginous jeopardy.
The C-grade cast merely goes through the motions, making appropriate this-can’t-be-happening-to-us expressions. After a promising first half, the mountain saga, released here in an English dubbed version, fizzles out into a molehill. Quel dommage!