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Frozen - Anchor Bay Entertainment Print E-mail
User Rating: / 1
Written by Richard Taylor   
Friday, 01 May 2015
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AKA: Muerte bajo cero, Pânico na Neve, Frozen - Eiskalter Abgrund, Külmunud, Bajo cero, Smrznuti, Kihülve, Kipaon, Muerte en la montańa, Frozen - Pânico na Neve, Замерзшие, Ledena past

Directed by:
Adam Green
Written by:
Adam Green
Produced by:
Peter Block, Cory Neal
Cinematography by:
Will Barratt
Editing by:
Ed Marx
Special Effects by:
Greg T. Moon
Music by:
Andy Garfield
Emma Bell, Shawn Ashmore, Kevin Zegers, Ed Ackerman, Rileah Vanderbilt, Kane Hodder, Adam Johnson
1h 33min

Studio: A Bigger Boat, ArieScope Pictures
Distributor: Anchor Bay Entertainment

Since it’s that time of year when winter has battered most of the modern world senseless and the hopes of spring in some parts of eastern Canada are currently far from reach I bring you a film which delivers much the same feeling of hopelessness throughout. Adam Green's Frozen released in 2010 by Anchor Bay, with moderate success, along with his Hatchet trilogy may be the most well-known films credited to his name thus far. I also felt the need to watch Frozen because I have personally taken up downhill skiing this year and the sense of fear that comes with being stuck up high in that chair lift is a very real thing. I know its clichéd but this movie does prey on those fears. Anyone who has visited a ski resort and partaken in riding that said chair lift will understand where I am coming from and will understand where Frozen is coming from. Forget that over saturated Disney hogwash movie of the same name, that film is only the top grossing animated film ever, nah, whatever, not even remotely in the same category.

Frozen was said to have been lacking in good acting and dialogue and in some instances I can agree. It does come off as a frat boy mainstream film at the beginning. We get the college rock segways, sarcastic dialogue, friends bonding together for that one last great trip, two childhood friends trying to bond while one of the friends feels like a third wheel because of the girlfriend and so on.
Frozen hasn't reinvented the wheel here, it maybe at best greased it but where I feel its strengths lie come somewhere in the middle of the film -- the terror, the desperation, the degradation, the test of the human psyche, this is where I believe it excels. It has its moments. Using a remotely small cast consisting of two Canuck actors Shawn Ashmore (Iceman in X-men) and Kevin Zegers (Air Bud movies, yup, that's right, Air Bud!) with Emma Bell who is probably best known as Andrea's sister Amy in the first season of The Walking Dead. I do feel that there was definitely not enough material to build up or make you sympathize with the characters, which is something I feel you need in this type of outing. There are particular moments when you feel sympathetic towards their situation, but the one dimensional characters were generally devoid of feeling for me.

The plot is basic, the premise is key but the logic at times and scenario is foolish. The three friends are on a ski outing, but they don't have enough money to buy lift passes -- first strike here. I ask, why would you plan a trip with friends if you know ahead of time you cannot afford the trip, and your whole time with your friends is left on a whim that you may be able to scam your way into a good place? The friends do just that; pay the lift operator a hundred bucks and get to ski the slopes. Then if that wasn't pushing their luck to the limits, they try to get the lift operator to let them go on one last run down the hill before it shuts down, and thus we have the hook, line and sinker. The current lift operator has to tend to some personal work business, another guy takes over, miscommunication occurs and our three friends end up stranded on the lift.

The ski resort named Mount Holliston doesn't seem to be interested in making money in prime ski season, as it’s closed all week and is only open on weekends. Our friends only hope fades fast as a trail groomer (driven by genre actor Kane Hodder) foolishly drives by and doesn't notice them dangling high in the ski from the lift, even with them chucking their helmets and ski poles at it. No maintenance crew or staff maintain Mount Holliston in the least during their down time it seems, so our three trapped friends have to sink to desperate measures to rescue themselves. At first they are calm but things quickly turn to shit when they all come to the realization that no one is coming for them and they will not survive a week in the chair lift in below freezing temperatures.

Frozen excels in the terror factor, but I strongly dislike those tag lines these hyped up critics dish out like "Will do for skiing what Jaws did for the ocean." Fuck that! Just let the movie stand on its own merit. If it’s good, people will know and they will watch it. That is that. Sayings like this, if anything, deter me from wanting to see a movie. Where I give Frozen its high points is in the meat of the movie, the terror it dishes out. Scenes where we feel the utter hopelessness and desperation of our characters, as they struggle to save their skin, sometimes foolishly and in some cases with success. Or just plain dumb luck or fate. Whatever you want to call it. There is nothing high on the gore factor here. There is a nice failed jumping attempt at ridiculous heights, which causes one friend’s leg bones to pop out of the skin. It seemed like a good idea, I guess, until the howling of hungry nearby wolves started ringing out in the night. I love the feeling of dread Frozen brings to the table. This is where its biggest strength lies. It is not a happy film and our friends don't all go for nachos and beer at the lodge after the whole ordeal is over with, believe me. The friends fight frostbite, frozen appendages and a pack of hungry wolves closing in, with plans on making a meal out of them.

I don't consider
Frozen a classic but it’s a nice winter carnage time waster. For those who have tried skiing, it might make you think twice when you take that chairlift to the top of the hill. It works its magic this way. It might have you looking down to see if you can make that jump and get to safety if you have to. If it has you thinking this way then the movie has done its job.




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