The Frozen Ground follows the final days of freedom for Hansen (John Cusack), who murdered no fewer than 17 women in a dozen years. On his case is state trooper Jack Halcombe (Nicholas Cage)—changed from Glenn Flothe—who seeks the aid of Cindy Paulson (Vanessa Hudgens), a prostitute who was raped by Hansen and escaped his “dungeon.”
Halcombe gathers evidence, builds the case and makes an attempt to bond with the young Cindy. This is a movie that cares more about going through the motions—Halcombe spends his days staring at bulletin boards and dead bodies; Hansen lives his quiet, unassuming life as a baker—than it is exploring the depths of these characters.
That many viewers will have never heard of Robert Hansen works both for and against the movie. The advantage is that we get a glimpse of an American serial killer that authorities couldn’t even bother to come up with a name for, while the disadvantage is that Hansen just isn’t a very standout killer or character. There’s nothing very distinct about him other than his access to an airplane.
The Frozen Ground is the feature debut of Scott Walker, who may have attracted some fine names but apparently has little interest in giving them anything fresh to say or do.
Examining The Frozen Ground (20:06): This featurette looks at the plot and production of The Frozen Ground, with interviews with Walker, John Cusack, Nicolas Cage, Glenn Flothe (the character that inspired Jack Halcombe), and more.
Writing The Frozen Ground (14:07) zeroes in Walker’s inspirations and approach to the story.
Extended Interviews: Interviews with Walker, Cage, Cusack, Flothe, Vanessa Hudgens, Kevin Dunn, and Ordesky and Fleming are housed separately
Deleted Scenes (8:30): There are seven brief scenes here, which can be viewed separately or as a whole. They are: “Cindy with Chelle,” “Hansen Gives Wife Necklace,” “Halcombe and Baker in Hansen House,” “Hansen Yells at Attorney,” “Halcombe and Cindy on Phone,” “Hansen’s Wife in Kitchen,” and “Halcome Drops Cindy Off.”