In a remote cabin in the great white north of Canada, a group of archaeological researchers have uncovered what appears to be a stone monument ages and ages old. Unsure of just what they have found, they set about to secure funds and assistance to dig out the evolving mystery. When superstitious local workers dig around the large stone, attempting to bring to light the meaning of the strange writings on the artifact, they one by one disappear from the site, eventually leaving the researchers high and dry unless they are to continue on their own. The men, sure they have uncovered the greatest find in archaeological history, attempt to forge ahead, with disastrous results.
One thing that I felt didn't work to its full potential is the fleshing out of the individual characters. By the end of the film I couldn't recall any of their names or personalities. They all seemed to run together and no one truly stood out. In comparison, a movie like The Thing works so much better because you become vested with those characters - you know them. You care what happens to them. Here, a man loses his arm, then another his hand. And you know what? I can't remember either of their names, nor their purpose for being there. And while we're at it, could they not have had a different body part removed to put some distinction between the characters? I mean, it wasn't like it was a movie directly about people losing their upper limbs. I think the director wanted us to know the difference between the men, but the only one I can actually recall is the obligatory doctor, because he was always treating someone and we saw him frequently. Everyone else was either playing poker or trading barbs around the table. Which works wonderfully in films like The Thing and Alien - because we rapidly find ourselves getting to know and care about the characters. And that's why those films are vastly superior to this one- but in all honesty, this is not a bad indie film at all.
Despite its few character flaws, Black Mountain Side is a truly atmospheric and mostly-fun time, but it's a slow, slow burn. Don't expect things to move along with any real speed, as the heart of the film is the slow, desperate realization that perhaps no one is getting out alive.