C-C-CONT-T-T-T-TAINS M-M-MAS-S-S-SSIVE SP-P-P-POIL-ERS-S-S
Ahhh. I really really wanted to like Frozen, the new Adam Green film: I liked Hatchet a lot, I rather liked Hatchet II (though I don't think it's as good as the first one) and I found Spiral particularly effective. So, having missed its premiere in Edinburgh and having missed its brief and insanely limited theatrical release, I was looking forward to another enjoyably gruesome horror thriller, yet I found Frozen only moderately successful: it's not bad, certainly, but it is, unfortunately, the least of Green's films so far.
The idea of Frozen - and like all great ideas, it's fundamentally very simple - is that three friends (Kevin Zegers, Emma Bell, Shawn Ashmore) get stranded on the chairlift at a ski resort when the place closes down for the holiday weekend. It's fifty feet off the ground, which is too high to safely jump, no-one's brought a mobile phone, the icy winds are picking up and the hungry wolves are gathering below. No-one knows they're up there, there's no-one they can signal to. Can they find a way to get off the chair safely? Can they find a way to contact someone and bring help?
There are two main problems. Firstly: these days they're all going to have their mobiles on them at all times: even if not to call for help they'd have them to take pictures and to update social networking sites. Secondly, the logical thing to do would be for one of the three to climb up onto the wires and make their way along to the support pillars and climb down: certainly that's what I'd do (in the frankly unlikely event of me being anywhere near a skilift in the first place) and it's far safer than just leaping onto the packed ice and hoping, which is what Zegers does and ends up with both his shins juicily broken for his pains, just as the hungry wolves show up. (Incidentally, the deleted footage on the DVD is far grislier and gorier than the edited scene in the finished film.)
Those niggles aside, I did still enjoy Frozen: it's a good, tense setup and the three leads are generally likeable people you don't really want to see hurt, a failing in quite a few recent genre films where you're just waiting for them to die horribly. It's nicely shot, all for real (no green screen and studio mockups) and satisfyingly gruesome, including things like falling asleep with your face or hand on the bare metal. I guess I just wanted to like it more, I wanted to like it as much as Hatchet and unfortunately it isn't quite up there. A slight disappointment more than anything else.