High Lane (film)
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German Blu-ray cover artwork
|Directed by||Abel Ferry|
|Written by||Johanne Bernard (scenario), Louis-Paul Desanges (scenario)|
High Lane (Original French title: Vertige) is a 2009 French horror film directed by Abel Ferry. A group of friends on vacation decide to venture onto a trail high up in the mountains that has been closed for repairs. The climb proves more perilous than expected, especially as they soon realize that they are not alone.
Young adults Fred (Nicolas Giraud), his girlfriend Karine and their friends Chloé (Fanny Valette), a nurse grappling with guilt after accidentally killing a young patient; Guillaume (Raphaël Lenglet), who harbors feelings for Chloé; and Loïc (Johan Libéreau), Chloé's unpopular boyfriend, travel to Croatia to climb and hike. They find the starting point closed off with rocks but experienced climber Fred convinces the others, including Chloé's boyfriend Loïc, to cross the track. The inexperienced Loïc is consistently paralyzed with fear, often needing encouragement from Chloé to continue. As their journey progresses, they realize that the trail is more dangerous than they had first thought: an unstable rope bridge collapses after their crossing, nearly killing Karine. With the bridge gone, the group realizes that they can't turn back, and Fred, feeling guilty after persuading the group to hike a closed-off trail, tells them that they need to go to the end as quickly as possible.
Fred climbs ahead with Karine as the rest of the group hangs off of a cliff, but is wounded in a bear trap. As Karine tries to pry the trap off of his leg, the rest of the group struggles as a vertigo-stricken Loïc fails to belay the rope; Loïc ignores advice from Guillaume, jealous and hostile because of the latter's obvious feelings for Chloé. Loïc's support fails and he falls, bringing the attached Guillaume down with him, and the two are suspended as Chloé looks on in horror. Meanwhile, Fred tells Karine to leave him and retrieve the others. Soon after Karine leaves, Fred hears movement in the trees around him as the chain to the trap tightens, and he is suddenly dragged off.
Karine uses a rope to bring help the rest of the group to the top, but when they return, Fred is missing, but Loïc finds blood on the surrounding foliage, and the empty, bloodstained bear trap is found discarded. Karine, though confused as to how he managed to get out of the trap when they couldn't open it before, panics and believes that Fred must have wandered off and gotten lost. Chloé assures Karine that they will look for Fred despite the fact that it's becoming dark and Fred's bag had the flares inside. As they search, Loïc and Guillaume bicker over Chloé and begin to grapple. Chloé, going over to break them up, falls into a pit trap. Karine rappels down and finds a poacher's trap full of spikes; one went through Chloé's arm and she is injured. As they watch Karine rescue Chloé, Guillaume feels they're being watched and tells Loïc, who ignores him. When Karine finally rescues Chloé, Chloé realizes that the trap is a poacher's trap; they wonder what could be the prey.
Rain pours as the group ropes themselves together and searches for Fred. Karine, at the end of the rope, is hit by an arrow through the chest; when she pulls her rope, she finds that it has been cut. A shocked Chloé notices and tries to rush towards her, but Karine is suddenly pulled and dragged away. Chloé, distraught, tries to find her, and Loïc insists that they should abandon Fred and Karine to escape. As they continue on they find a cabin in the forest and enter; inside, a naked and bloodied Fred is lying on a slab, and though Chloé tries to save him, he dies shortly after from shock and his wounds; Loïc covers his body with a sheet.
Guillaume finds a door to the basement and goes down to find Fred's bag; there he also finds animal pelts, shackles, hunting equipment, and hanging decapitated heads. On the wall is the name "Anton." Guillaume realizes that the poacher, named Anton, must live alone in the cage, but when he tries to tell Loïc, the latter refuses to listen. Loïc pushed Guillaume down the stairs to the basement, accidentally knocking him unconscious. Loïc locks him in the basement and tries to tell Chloé to leave with him (with the lie that Guillaume was trying to abandon the both of them), but Chloé, disturbed at his behavior, refuses. Anton suddenly returns with Karine's corpse, and Chloé is briefly knocked unconscious as Loïc ineffectually grapples with Anton. Chloé regains consciousness and helps Loïc fight Anton, but when she manages to get an advantage over Anton and looks to her boyfriend to help, the cowardly Loïc flees with a flare, leaving her to die. Chloé is quickly overpowered by Anton.
Chloé and Guillaume, shackled to the wall in the basement, hear Anton eviscerate the corpses of Fred and Karine. Though Chloé is close to escaping from the shackles, Anton returns and takes her upstairs to kill her. Meanwhile, Loïc's flare dies and he reluctantly returns to the cabin. Guillaume, fighting to save Chloé, escapes his bonds and yells through the basement trapdoor for Chloé to call the poacher Anton. The poacher pauses, and Loïc appears to attack Anton. An enraged Anton chases a fleeing Loïc, giving Chloé enough time to escape and free Guillaume. Guillaume wants to escape to the nearby cable, but Chloé insists on saving Loïc.
Anton chases Loïc with a crossbow and shoots Loïc in the leg, but Loïc fights Anton, stabbing him and hitting him with a rock several times, though he flees to the cable before killing him. However, he misjudges the distance and ends up on the wrong cliff, and in escaping Anton climbs down an unstable cliffside ladder. Loïc calls for help, and Chloé and Guillaume arrive. Guillaume initially tries to pull him up, but is overcome by hatred and anger from Loïc trapping him in Anton's house, and lets him fall to his death off the cliffside. Guillaume tells Chloé that he had slipped and the two embrace; however, it's cut short when Anton shoots a crossbow arrow through Guillaume's head, killing him.
Chloé charges at Anton with a knife and attacks him. The two fight, but Anton gains the upper hand and begins to beat her. Chloé says his name, making him pause once more, and she cuts his neck with the knife. Though she has an opening to kill him, a flashback to her dead patient makes her realize that she cannot do it. Leaving him to die, Chloé escapes to the cable and in tearful joy begins the descent to safety. However, she leaves her knife behind, and Anton takes it up and goes to the cable in a fit of rage. The last shot is of Chloé traveling down the cable, and a loud snap is heard before the film cuts to black, implying that Anton managed to cut the cable. The film ends with the note that only Loïc's body was found; Fred, Karine, Guillaume and Chloé remain missing, and a boy named Anton, kidnapped at the age of five, also remains missing: countless people go missing in the Balkans every year.
- Fanny Valette as Chloé
- Johan Libéreau as Loïc
- Nicolas Giraud as Fred
- Raphaël Lenglet as Guillaume
- Maud Wyler as Karine
- Justin Blanckaert as Anton
- Guilhem Simon as an adolescent, Chloé's deceased patient
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