Saturday, February 2, 2013

This Month In... 2010: "Frozen (2010)"

Thanks to the time-traveling device know as Netflix,
This Month In... travels back to February 2010 for Frozen.



      If you haven't heard of the movie Frozen, well you're not alone. The film was released in only a handful of theaters and didn't particularly do well on DVD. I was originally going to review From Paris With Love for this week, however, I decided to throw in this little indie survival film to change things up a bit. Though, after watching the film, there's not a whole lot of change going on. Directed and written by Adam Green, who has directed many bloodier horror films including the horribly bloody Hatchet series (Not based the book some of us were made in read in middle school). The film follows three friends, Parker (Emma Bell, Dallas), Lynch (Shawn Ashmore, X-Men) and Dan (Kevin Zegers, Air Bud) who want to get one last ski run on the mountain before it closes for the week. However, while still in the chairlift on the way up the mountain, the resort shuts down and all the workers leave for the week, leaving the three friends trapped at in the chairlift at the top of the mountain for a week.

Looks like fun.
Bottle Episode

      The idea of a film taking place almost entirely in one location isn't all that new an idea, however, Green definitely steps it up by making that one location the incredibly small chairlift. And for the most part, Green does a good job working with the limited area. If nothing else, Green shows that he does make effective use of style, as the film always remains visually interesting despite it's small location. In fact, most of the ideas in Frozen are pretty solid. There is a legitimately solid story to be told with this premise. However, it seems as if Green unfortunately struggles to flesh this story out. The film first falters due to the characters being little more than a single trait that gets fixed by the end. Parker is the girl who will learn to be strong on her own. Lynch is the fun guy that learns to get serious. Dan is the tough guy that learns he doesn't know how to fall from heights. That's the film's main problem. Despite it's good direction, the film can only muster up a fairly generic story to tell. If you've seen another survival film before (CoughTheGreyCough), then you probably know all the beats this film will making and even who will live and who will die.

Suddenly, Wolves

      Director Green also struggles to actually get this film to feature length. While the film never does get boring and I was always interested to see what happened next, it was mostly because Green would often come up with sometimes ludicrous plot developments in order to keep the story interesting. A wide majority of the film's drama come from the characters just being plain idiots. And though I said it earlier, massive spoilers from this point on. Like Dan, for instance, who attempts to jump down from the 50-foot high chairlift into the snow below. The potentially survivable fall easily becomes a death sentence, as Dan stupidly lands feet first, graphically breaking both of his legs. Or Parker, who loses one of her gloves, then has it become horribly frostbitten as she never thinks to put her bare hand in her jacket sleeve. Also adding to the oddities are a pack of wolves, who, despite the movie's title, are the only way characters are killed in this movie, making the death scenes feel very artificial, like Green wanted more graphic deaths then just characters freezing to death.

He played Iceman. I find this amusing.
The Snowy Verdict

    Frozen is unfortunately tame, despite it's intriguing premise and talented director. The cast all try their hardest, however, director Green never really seems to know what he wants to do with the story, making drama out of the characters blatant stupidity and having an out of place wolf pack be the film's main villains. However, Green does a very good job making the film look visually interesting despite it's limited filming space. And at the very least, the film managed to keep my attention, even if it was for a different reason than what the director wanted. Overall, Frozen is only mildly chilling. Frozen (2010) gets 4 stars out of 6. Check back next week, when things get downright shocking.

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