Jovan (Amar Selimovac) is a writer struggling to get his book completed, try as hard as he might it’s just not happening. Feeling the need for piece and tranquility he takes a much-needed break in the rural Montenegrin countryside, with a very traditional family. One of the girls Vesna (Inti Sraj), immediately gets Jovan’s attention, because she is more isolated from the group, and more beautiful. But this family is far from normal, they seem to have deep feelings for nature, and the circle of life, and slightly more worrying all the mirrors are either broken or hidden. The longer Jovan spends with the family, the more disturbed he becomes, and starts to fear his safety.
The Ascent is the ultimate slow burning horror tale, it gives you and overall feeling of menace within minutes of the start of the movie, yet it only delivers its punch in the final moments, by which time you have been on such a rollercoaster of emotions, that the punch is far harder than anything that you will see in the current horror movie climate.
You cannot help but sit and analyze the film, everything in the movie, from locations, the family, and how that aforementioned punch is going to hit. You think the movie is going one way, you truly believe you have the answer, it makes you think that the story is going a certain way, but it never does. All the way through you think this, you think that, but you never get it. There are so many red herrings in the film, so many wrong turns, so much mental anguish, and it’s all set up to defy you.
Writer/director Nemanja Becanovic and brother Aleksander are masters of horror already, having only one movie credit under their belts have bought something very new to the table. A world that is already dark due to our lack of understanding about Slovenia is made ever the more chilling by the movies makers.
The biggest flaw with The Ascent and for a vast percentage of the viewing audience that will see it is the vast expanse of time in which nothing happens. But this is a movie that is all about focus, and if you allow yourself to just absorb the movie for what it is, and not worry about what’s not happening, you will be rewarded in the ultimate shock. The Ascent is a movie that will stay with you an awful long time, if you allow it too.