The Reel Review
Naomi Watts stars is this true story of experienced climber and search and rescue volunteer Pam Bales, who in October 2010 endured a ferocious snowstorm to save herself and an ill-equipped hiker from one of America’s most treacherous locations – New Hampshire’s Mount Washington.
The survival film has all the requisite, “facing disaster at every turn” type drama – frostbite, howling winds, hypothermia, and LOTS of falls. Watts, who did her own stunts in the film, delivers an outstanding performance, capturing the silent despair of her character, a loner due to a prior tragedy involving her two young daughters who is determined not to see someone else die on her watch.
Co-directed by acclaimed Polish director Malgorzata Szumowska and American Michael Engler (Downton Abbey), the problem is in the slow moving slog of a story from Joshua Rollins. It will likely appeal only to hardcore hikers or those who have themselves survived such dire circumstances. There are other wilderness movies (Reese Witherspoon’s Wild comes to mind) that are better told and infinitely more interesting.
• Notorious for its erratic and harsh weather changes, New Hampshire’s Mount Washington holds the North American record for directly measured surface wind speed, at 231 mph, recorded in 1934. Over the decades, its wildly erratic weather has claimed the lives of more than 150 visitors.
• For the past few years, Pam Bales has been patroling the national parks in the Western U.S.
• Infinite Storm was filmed in the Slovenian Alps just south of the Austrian border.