8 March 2011 | Herpumpkin
...never going skiing. Ever.
For a film that mainly revolves around a cast of three to carry the movie, seven stars can seem like seventeen. What makes this film work is the realism. Every choice, every consequence, everything! Like a movie studio trying to emulate the moments before a car accident, then its aftermath.
I'm not one of these reviewers that will take you through the entire plot of the film. Especially in this case. This film's simplicity works. Three skiers accidentally get forgotten on a ski lift as the resort closes for the week.
That's it! Yet, this simple formula works better than any horror movie I have seen in a long, LONG time! This opinion may be a little biased and I'll tell you why. Personally, I am petrified of open heights. Adam Green's chosen camera placements are well picked, never once allowing any hints of fiction into the story. That's the beauty of shooting on location, despite how deadly the location can be.
Deadly, indeed! This movie really got under my skin. Not in anyway gore-filled, like "Hatchet" or its sequel. So for all the gore-hounds out there scanning the reviews for bloody details before watching it, make-up effects enthusiasts won't be completely disappointed, but it's no "Hatchtet". However, Adam Green focuses more on his Actor's/Actresses' reactions to the horrors within the film. This works! Lord, does it work! I'm a huge GOREHOUND, I welcome squeamish scenes, but the subtle incidents that happen to these characters while exposed to harsh weather works better than a graphic depiction of a chainsaw to the gut! I'm almost ashamed to admit that I had to turn away and groan at what I witnessed on screen! This is from someone who giggled like a girl-scout throughout "A Serbian Film"! "Frozen" works! In all the right ways! My only complaints about the film are the lack of themes. Usually a survival-horror like this contains some smug theme that ties the film together, a topic the film tries to make aware to its audience. Romero does the aforementioned flawlessly, just to provide one example. "Dawn of the Dead" and its issue of consumerism. For example, one would assume that being trapped with two other people in a situation like that, the throes of "cabin fever" would naturally work its way into the script. Yet, Adam Green chooses to focus on the reality of the situation his characters find themselves in. As a result, the film remains simple. Leaving the audience with no other thought to ponder upon besides their own feelings of fear. To some, this may be a compliment to the film, to others, a weak link.
The dialogue is probably the strongest device in the film. Revolving your film around only three characters, the script better be able to keep the dialogue interesting or your audience is going to give up on these characters. Adam Green's dialogue is just that, interesting. Realizing the situation the characters find themselves in, the conversations that follows feels significant, but above all genuine. Dialogue, outweighs the action, so be prepared for a lot of talking. However, when the action arrives it's like an avalanche; disastrous, yet magnetic. I was, literally, frozen, couldn't take my eyes off the screen.
I've said enough...
To reiterate a few points, I have to say, again, this film really shook me. After it was over I had a deeper appreciation for the bed I was watching it in. I also made a vow never, EVER to go skiing.