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Frozen – Review

Frozen – Review

Apr 14, 2011

reviewed by hallo
directed by Adam Green, 2010

You know that feeling when something is on the tip of your tongue but you can’t quite remember or put into words what you want to say?  That is how I feel with writer and director Adam Green.  He has talent.  He has a good mind for horror.  He has arguably created a new slasher icon in the horror industry with Victor Crowley from the Hatchet series.  His movies are enjoyable and entertaining.  And yet. . .something is missing.  And I’m not sure what.

Frozen is about as simple of a horror film as you can get.  Three friends bribe a ski lift operator to let them take some rides down the mountain without purchasing those pesky, expensive lift tickets.  After convincing him for one more ride late at night, when the rest of the guests have departed and the resort is shutting down for the week, Parker (the girl), Joe, and Dan are shocked when the ski lift stops in the middle of their accent, leaving them dangling high above the snowy mountain below.  Of course, they initially assume that a simple explanation was the cause for the delay and they would soon be on their way.  But when the lights to the resort all shut off, their worst fears become reality and the weight of their situation comes crashing down.

Dan, Parker’s boyfriend, is the first to take drastic action as he is convinced he can survive the fall down to the mountain without too much injury.  Despite the protests from Parker and Joe, Dan jumps.  Not a great idea as he shatters both of his legs, leaving him sitting stationary in the cold snow with no means of escape.  Unfortunately for the trio, this is one of those ski resorts where mad, flesh-eating wolves roam.  You can imagine what happens to Dan.

The rest of the film portrays Parker and Joe fighting, making up, coming up with various possibilities for escape, and sharing gut-wrenching stories with each other.   Adam Green attempts to add an element of introspective weightiness to the film by giving Parker an extended speech where she panics over the fate of her new puppy who will have no food.  Her concern is not so much about the food, but rather is devastated to imagine her puppy thinking Parker no longer loves her.  In return, Joe describes the first encounter he and Dan had as children in grade school.  Finally, Joe attempts to shimmy across the line to the support tower that has a ladder.  After successfully making it, he climbs down the ladder to the mountain and scares off the mad, flesh-eating wolves with his ski pole.  After jumping on his snow board, he lets Parker know that he will return with help.  As he starts down the hill, several wolves chase after him.

Parker is left all alone.  Joe never returns.  Another night goes by.  Eventually, her chair, due to the weight of Joe standing on it during his climb, gives way and falls halfway to the mountain before being caught by a wire.  This is close enough now where Parker can jump without serious injury.  She crawls on her stomach down the mountain seeking help, where she sees the remains of Joe who did not make it down the hill, but was also eaten by wolves.  Parker is eventually picked up by a car on the highway and is saved.

There are some obvious problems with this film.  First, the wolves are a bit unbelievable.  Perhaps we could argue that the blood from Dan’s broken legs drew them to the resort, but this is probably a place that is well closed off and “wild animal free.”  But who cares, it makes for a tense moment with Dan.  The problem is that Joe’s demise also by the wolves is redundant, boring, and amazingly anti-climatic.  He had just scared them silly after reaching the mountain and was now on a snow board.  I feel like Green should have found a fresh and convincing way to off Joe.  Finally, the conversations between the friends during the night of terror range from believable and effective to annoying and stupid.

One aspect of the film I did enjoy was the process of dying.  Dan was not willing to allow himself to wade in the pools of despair, so he took immediate action.  Parker and Joe were the ones who had to come to grips with their situation and wrestle with their thoughts as they crept closer to death.  For Parker, her thoughts went to disappointing a puppy.  For Joe, it was the years of friendship with Dan.  Who knows how any of us would respond or how we would think if placed in a situation of a slow and near certain death.  It creates a nice platform for suspense and horror.

Overall, I like the movie.  But I didn’t love it.  And that, it seems, is the relationship I have with Adam Green.

Click here to purchase Frozen

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