Review: Frozen (Sundance)
PLOT: Three skiers (Emma Bell, Shawn Ashmore, and Kevin Zegers) find themselves stranded on a chair-lift. With the resort not due to re-open for five days, the three skiers must find a way off the ski lift, lest they freeze to death. Alas, freezing ends up being the least of their worries once a pack of hungry wolves start circling below them.
REVIEW: Upon reading the plot synopsis of FROZEN in the Sundance Film guide, I immediately started to feel queasy. I don’t do so well with heights, and there’s nothing that I hate more than taking chair-lift rides. The idea of being stuck on one literally scares me shitless, so suffice to say FROZEN is my idea of a truly scary film.
Like most good horror flicks, it takes awhile for FROZEN to get going. The first twenty minutes of this film are pretty lame, with our three dumbass heroes sneaking onto the chairlift to avoid paying full price, and bickering amongst themselves. However, once they get stuck on the lift this really becomes a white- knuckle thriller. Every single winter fear is exploited here, including several brutal shots showing the effect of frost-bite. Late in the film, we get a truly grim scene where one of the skiers tries to escape the chair-lift and gets a couple of really nasty compound fractures, leading to more than a few screams of terror at the screening I attended.
And then there are the wolves…
As far as I’m concerned, this is the one area where the film really goes wrong, as the premise was scary enough without the addition of ravenous wolves. The similarly themed BURIED makes a similar mistake with the introduction of a poisonous snake to the plot, and I suppose these complications are just ways of adding some action to both movies, but really- what’s the point?
Killer wolves’ aside, FROZEN is nevertheless one crazily effective thriller, and probably the only film I’ve seen in months to truly make me squirm in my seat. Luckily, audiences will be able to experience the terror themselves with FROZEN due to hit theaters shortly. I can’t recommend this enough to horror fans, as it’s a truly frightening, and enjoyable ride. Just don’t plan on taking any ski trips afterwards; as this does for skiing what JAWS did for the ocean. I’m sure this is exactly what the filmmakers were going for, with the production company behind this even being named ‘A Bigger Boat Productions’. Between this, and his previous film, HATCHET, director Adam Green is really on a roll. I wonder what primal fear his next film will tap into. Clowns anyone?
Additional Sundance reviews: WELCOME TO THE RILEYS - SYMPATHY FOR DELICIOUS - BLUE VALENTINE - BURIED - HOLY ROLLERS - TUCKER AND DALE VS. EVIL - THE RUNAWAYS - HESHER- HIGH SCHOOL- JACK GOES BOATING- THE KILLER INSIDE ME - CYRUS - HAPPYTHANKYOUMOREPLEASE - NOWHERE BOY - MOTHER AND CHILD - GET LOW