Wednesday, 5 October 2011



Bizarrely, this isn't an American film, despite everyone speaking and writing English throughout and apparently being set in the US. Only the non-American accents give it away, but it's actually Swedish, made in Sweden by a substantially Swedish cast and crew, but the lack of any Swedish dialogue or references suggests it was made entirely with the foreign market in mind, to trick the dimbo American audiences into watching a Swedish film without their knowledge. In and of itself it's a silly and frankly implausible snowbound slasher movie, but it looks good, has an impressive bogeyman and boasts some cheerily nasty gore moments.

Blood Runs Cold has a young singer named Winona taking a couple of weeks off at a rented cabin miles from nowhere: she meets up with her ex and a couple of his friends and they all stay the night. But in the morning they find the car vandalised and a deranged axeman (who looks not unlike the Tusken Raiders from Star Wars except covered in blood) starts butchering them and eating them fresh off the bone. Why? Who is he? Why can't her concerned manager find her when he's standing outside the house?

That last reveal is laugh out loud funny, and either a brilliant piece of sleight of the writer's hand or a ridiculous old plot contrivance shoehorned in as a completely implausible twist. I'm tempted to the latter since much of the movie depends on unlikely circumstances - the guy who discovers the car's sabotaged engine doesn't think it worth waking people up to tell them, nor does Winona's ex bother to mention that he's seen someone upstairs through the window. Presumably this cabin doesn't have a functioning toilet since both guys go out in the snow to pee, but it does apparently have several hundred yards of crawlspace and a basement only slightly smaller than the Piccadilly line. And in the final reel there's a breathtaking moment of "blimey, THAT was handy" as the Final Girl lays her hand on the very item she really needs but which had absolutely no business being there.

And it's curious that Blood Runs Cold manages to get away with having its mad killer's backstory and motivations go entirely unexplained when Neighbor failed to pull the same trick just a few days ago with its unnamed murderess. I can only suggest that, like Leatherface or Michael Myers, he's more of a force of nature than any kind of human being - like The Terminator, you can't argue with it, you can't reason with it - whereas The Girl is obviously a reasoning, decision-making person who does what she does out of deliberate choice rather than the primal, unthinking instinct by which Texas Chainsaw or a hundred other bogeymen are powered. It's not a bad film by any means: despite the iffy writing and gaping implausibilities and unlikely incidents, it has an imposing-looking killer, it maintains a decent pace once it gets going and it delivers on the blood and gore (which always looks better against snow). And sometimes that's enough.



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