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The Challenge: A snowboard movie that incorporates some element of magic.
I watched some “Bill and Ted”, “Hangover” and “O Brother Where Art Thou” to get in the mood for this one. It’s a buddy/screwball adventure film with snowboards… and THE DEVIL!!!!!
ALTON & MARKUS vs. THE DEVIL
Alton, Markus and Carthy have been best friends for decades. Now 28, they have been enjoying their annual snowboarding trip in the same cabin they have been coming to for 10 years to participate in a snowboard competition. It is their last night, and the 3 friends are relaxing in the wreckage of a massive party they had the day before when Carthy tells them that this will likely be the last time he can make the trip.
Their whole lives, he has kept a genetic kidney disease (Alport Syndrome) a secret from his best friends. He’s been able to keep it under control, but his doctor has informed him that it has gotten significantly worse recently and he will not make it another year. He makes his friends promise to never stop coming to the mountain every year.
One year later, Alton and Markus have been avoiding planning a return trip to the mountain. After Carthy’s death 5 months before, the two best friends have hardly spoken. One night, a few days before they would usually have left for snowboarding, Alton is leaving work. He is about to exit the building when he sees an old woman being mugged by a group of very creepy young hoodlums. He opens a door and pulls the woman into safety, locking it behind her. The Hoodlums never even get a look at him.
Alton is shocked when the old woman claims to be a spirit medium and knows about Carthy’s death. As a “reward” for saving her, the old woman offers Alton a way to bring his friend back to life. She gives him a twisted black candle. She tells him that if he wants to see his friend again he must go to an emotionally significant spot on an emotionally significant date. He must light the candle and spill wax on an old possession of Carthy’s. This will summon a spirit to the location that will be holding another item of Carthy’s. Alton will have 3 days to locate the spirit, steal and destroy the possession. But the spirit will be playing against him, trying to discover his identity, find and destroys the possession HE holds. If he can succeed their friend will come back to life. If he fails, he will never get the opportunity to try again.
After a paranoid interrogation of the old woman to make sure Carthy won’t just come back as a zombie with a kidney problem, Alton takes the candle. Markus is apprehensive at first, but convinced after Alton reminds him that they were an award winning Capture the Flag team. They go to the mountain to participate in the annual snowboarding competition.
The first night there, they drip the candle onto Carthy’s old snowboard. The next morning they start the competition, keeping an eye out for anybody carrying anything that looks like it could be Carthy’s. They also keep an eye out for suspicious people. Their first choice is a loud, rude, Texan caricature who is new to the competition.
While warming up, Markus is going down the mountain when he starts to get chased by vicious wolves. He barely escapes, setting a new slope record in the process.
While Markus is telling Alton how he thinks they made a mistake, a County Sheriff comes into the ski lodge. He is a huge, terrifying looking man and tells everybody that an avalanche has blocked off the highway. They are clearing it out, but no one will be able to leave the small mountain town until they do… exactly 3 days. Alton catches a glimpse of the sheriff’s deputes: they are the creepy hoodlums who mugged the old woman in the alleyway.
Terrified that they have made a terrible decision they visit a dusty old rare bookshop in town and find an old book mentioning a trick the devil plays to get new souls when he is bored. It bares striking resemblance to their situation. The old woman has tricked them into a bet against the devil. They have to either win the game to get back their friend’s soul, or be dragged to hell themselves.
Copyright Sean Pilcher 2012