FROZEN (Blu-Ray and DVD)
If I was to pitch you a movie about three kids trapped on a ski lift as a horror movie, what would you say? You’d probably ignore me, laugh, or order me out of your fancy-shmancy office (you fascist
). That almost certainly had to be the experience of new horror icon, director/writer Adam Green
, when he was shopping around trying to finance this bottled bit of freezing horror. The jokes on them, because Green managed to get made quite the interesting and even mildly scary 'trapped'
horror film. Now, if only he could get people to actually watch
) and his long time buddy Joe
) have been regularly taking the trip up to a ski resort for the weekend for years but this time around, Dan
’s girlfriend Parker
) has tagged along, turning what used to be a guy thing into a slightly awkward third wheel situation, no matter how hard everybody tries to keep things jovial. Even after skiing all day, the trio wants to get in one last trip down the mountain before the lodge closes for the weekend, so they bribe the attendant to send them up on the lift for a night run. It’s the end of the day, practically everyone is gone, and a miscommunication ends up with the three trapped high in the air on a non-functioning lift with all the staff gone until the following weekend. Sucks to be them.
For what you’d think would be a story with limited scare appeal, Adam Green
manages to inject some tension with this by making it into a 'between a rock and a hard place'
scenario. Much like with the 2004 film "Open Water", this is man vs nature at it's most uncomplicated, identifiable, and therefore, frightening (at least to some, depending on what your own phobias are). Even then, this sort of thing depends on something else to work; making these actors likable, as so many horror writers don’t seem to grok these days. They’re all we have to watch for the majority of the running time, and if we don’t care if they die, there’s not much point in watching.
especially, who you’ll probably recognize as Iceman
from the X-Men
movies, is the most charismatic of the trio, as the loyal stoner buddy trying to reconcile, as peacefully as he can muster, this new girl into his friendship equation. Decent and believable dialogue bolster the triangle and keep the film moving along at a surprisingly brisk pace, but one can’t help but wonder how much better this would have been with a more impressive cast. Not that these kids don’t manage to pull it off, but for such a conversation driven film that descends into bleak darkness, some pros would have likely found ways to have taken this to a more interesting place and it was hard for me not to focus on that while watching. I know, I know, that's not fair to the actors who did do a more than competent job in their roles, but I think of it as more of a credit to Green
and his script, which feels like it had more possibility in it than was realized on screen.
Certainly the lengths these two boys go to in order to try and save Parker
are above and beyond what most people would even have the balls to try, but Green
appears to be writing from his ‘humans are essentially good’
point of view here, as opposed to his more sardonic “Hatchet”
films. Personally, I find that refreshing. Green
and company talk about what his goals were amongst other aspects of production in two audio commentaries and four featurettes but the real bonus find is the impossible to miss easter egg that tells about the ghost story on set. A little bonus creepy for you when you're done watching the actual film.“Frozen”
isn’t going to break any new ground or set the horror world afire, but it’s a smart and well-executed 94 minutes that races by and will leave you, if not wanting specifically more, certainly interested in what this director/writer does next. I have a feeling, in a few years looking back at Green
's career, that "Frozen"
will be largely a footnote, but one still worth looking into.--CLICK HERE TO BUY Frozen [Blu-ray]