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DVD Review

DVD cover

The Passage


Starring: Sarai Givaty, Stephen Dorff and Neil Jackson,
DNC Entertainment
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 15
Available 13 October 2008

Two American friends are on a travelling holiday in Morocco. Whilst Adam sleeps the days away and parties at night, Luke takes in the sights and soaks up the culture. Whilst perusing a vast street market he meets Zahara, an English-speaking woman who offers to act as his unofficial guide. She arranges to take the two friends to the Atlas Mountains, but Adam declines, believing he is doing his friend Luke a favour. In danger of spending a night in the freezing elements, Luke and Zahara finally secure an old stone hut settlement. Connected to the hut is a tunnel with a network of adjoining passageways, all in darkness. The pair begin to explore, and soon find themselves locked in. When Adam arrives looking for Luke, he discovers a terrifying secret from which there may be no escape...


The Passage feels very much like the illegitimate offspring of Hostel married with Coma; even at the end the structure has somebody else arrive so that the cycle begins all over again. The only nice twist is that the organs end up being delivered to London - at a private hospital in Harper Street (changed from Harley Street for obvious reasons). Personally, I perceive no sense in having no surviving protagonists. What's the point in that? Every story - no matter what genre - tells of a struggle for triumph / achievement / survival over adversity. You should have at least one person left alive, even if they don't win but are greatly changed by events. One unsurprising occurrence certainly gives credence to the opinion that you can never truly trust anyone (or is that just the pessimist in me peeping out?).

Although a likeable sort of chap (more of a loveable rogue, really), Adam does have his faults and he's all the better for them. It should be understood that there are plenty of people like this out there - so he feels very real. For example, he makes no attempt at the local language, even telling an aggressive hotel manager to "Speak bloody English!" His quips are ignorant but amusing; reminiscent of the old man in The Italian Job ("Bloody foreigners!"), especially when he tells an unresponsive bus driver, "Keep the change, mate. Buy yourself a toothbrush."

This film takes an age to get going; however, the moment Luke finds the passageways it becoming a lot more interesting. It's a nice touch to have Luke using the flash on his camera to obtain a brief glimpse in each direction. But just when the suspense is building, it all comes tumbling down and is reduced to a lost opportunity.


Ty Power

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