Three college kids try to sneak in some extra time on the slopes only to be forgotten when they’re trapped on the ski lift for days. Mother Nature shows how much of a bitch she can be while our three friends become frozen on the ski lift.
Writer-Director Adam Green really impressed the hell out of me with his earlier work, Hatchet. There he proved he could take “evil urban mythical monster living in the woods” concept from the early 80’s and make a classic and thoroughly enjoyable film for the millennium. That flick was violent, bloody, gratuitous, and hilarious all at once. For FROZEN, he took a step back and showed he can also handle restraint as a story-teller. The action builds slowly to allow for character build up. It’s only fitting as the three main characters are the only people on screen for 2/3 of the movie. Dan (Kevin Zegers), his girlfriend Parker (Emma Bell) and best friend Joe (Shawn Ashmore) are on vacation hitting the slopes in New England. When the three realize they’ve been forgotten and stuck on a ski lift their paranoia begins to set in. This is when the film begins to drive home, thanks to the restraint and atmospheric direction from Adam Green. The paranoia builds in a subtle manner and doesn’t just hit the audience at once. We see our three characters go through various lengths to stay alive and get help. What makes this movie terrifying is the fact that it could actually happen. The characters aren’t terrorized by a knife-wielding manic but rather my mother nature herself.
Not much. Our characters are well-developed, even if they’re not played by Oscar-nominated actors. While character development was crucial to a film of this nature the pacing was slow.
FROZEN was a welcome surprise from a director that will be one of the next big names in horror. The concept was fresh, the element of surprise was in your face and the fact that it could happen makes the film stick with you. (I’m not going near a ski lodge anytime soon) Green has ultimately made the anti-“saw” with a film that doesn’t rely on over the top traps and elaborate fantasies to get under the audience skin. If you don’t want to see The GRUDGE rebooted next year or a remake of My Soul To Take or yet another reimagining of TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, well done original films like this to be supported, not shitty original film (I’m looking at you MY SOUL TO TAKE).
*** out of 4
A nice bowl of turkey and beef chili, complete with a dollop of sour cream, freshly shredded mozzarella and extra sharp cheddar cheese, diced onions and oyster crackers. Wash it down with a nice Shiraz.