Monday, March 1, 2010

"Frozen" A Ski Movie with Horror Themes

A horror film about skiers?

Makes sense to me. Every time I pay for a lift ticket, I am truly and deeply horrified.

But that's not what we're talking about. A new film was recently screened at the Sundance Film Festival about a trio of twenty-somethings that get caught on a ski lift. But unlike the standard situation where the ski lift stops for a few minutes while a group of people are untangling themselves from either the top or the bottom of the lift, in this film, the skiers are stranded for a very long time. The lift is shut down and it's not supposed to open until the following week.

Surprisingly, a version of this just happened for real. In mid-February, a 22-year-old German skier suffered hypothermia after being trapped for six hours on a chair lift that had been closed down for the evening. The man got on the lift 20 minutes after closing to descend to the Kaltenbach-Hochzillertal ski resort in the Austrian Alps. At that time, the lift was still running for maintenance, but it was shut down shortly afterward. The man was rescued by a cat driver that saw the glow of the man burning dollar bills.

The Adam Green horror film takes this much further. Nobody has cell phones, there's a storm, and the resort isn't supposed to re-open for a week.

Frozen looks a lot like the 2003 film Open Water when a pair of scuba divers get left behind in the middle of the ocean. Open Water was a very good film, filled with psychological horror that never really let up. Hopefully the tension in Frozen can live up to its predecessor. Unfortunately, the critics in Park City didn't think it did.

One of the Frozen movie posters that has recently hit the Internet

The reviews from Sundance are mixed. The New York Times liked the film. Other reviewers gave it mediocre reviews. The Hollywood Reporter isn't so kind to even give it a "it's okay" type review:

Frozen delivers enough thrills and gory chills to satisfy the horror-film crowd, but is not written, directed or acted well enough to be a first-rate thriller. A great premise in which three friends are stranded on a chairlift in the dead of winter is squandered to satisfy the expectations of the genre. The film should scare up reasonable returns in theatres and after-markets from the usual suspects, but not beyond that.

In theory, this film is already out at theaters. But it's premise feels a lot like something that will be on DVD very quickly. It is not playing locally here, but rest assured, when I finally get a chance to view it, I'll give you a review from a climber/skier's perspective.

In any case, without further ado, I give you a pretty good film trailer that will leave your palms quite sweaty.

--Jason D. Martin