No Frozen Fairytale
Whilst 2010 saw Danny Boyle give us survival horror "127 Hours" it was not the only survival horror to be released that year there was also "Frozen". The two movies are a little similar in concept because in "Frozen" we have 3 snow loving young adults stuck on a ski-lift 50ft up with no one knowing they are there and most likely will die there as no one is due back to the ski slope for 5 days. But where as "127 Hours" was exciting from start to finish, partly because of it being based on a true story, "Frozen" is more sporadic with some really great scenes of survival horror but then some almost soul searching type scenes which unfortunately end up a bit dull. Still as survival horror movies go "Frozen" is not bad and worth a watch.
Parker, Lynch and Dan (Emma Bell, Shawn Ashmore and Kevin Zegers) are enjoying skiing and snowboarding up on Mount Holliston especially when they have managed to bribe a snow lift operator to let them use the lift for cash in hand rather than buying an expensive lift pass. With night and bad weather drawing in they persuade the operator to allow them up for one more run but a misunderstanding at the controls leaves the trio of fun lovers stranded high up the mountain and 50ft in the air when the chair lift is turned off and the resort's lights go out. Stuck up in the air and with the weather worsening they need to choose, stay and freeze to death or try and jump down and hope they survive the 50ft drop and what ever lies beneath in the dark of night.
So after a bit of a build up which at times seems to get a bit sidelined as we watch Lynch flirt with a snowboarder on the slopes we get to the main story of Lynch, Parker and Dan being stuck 50ft up in the air on a chair lift and realising they have been forgotten about. It's actually quite a good idea because they are truly isolated in the middle of nowhere with little option other than to wait in hope someone realises and comes and rescues them. But we then get the first moment which truly works as we watch Dan decide that they are going to die if they wait especially with the temperature dropping and so he chooses to drop down and go for help. It is visual, seriously visual and trust me you wont want to be eating during this scene because it churn's your stomach. This is accompanied by Lynch then trying to shimmy along a cable which precedes issues with a pack of wolves.
It is a brilliant series of scenes up until this point, dramatic, thrilling and genuinely horrifying. Unfortunately it then slows down because we have Lynch and Parker left in the chair lift and going through various stages as they blame each other for what has happened and then start planning for the future in order to give them a reason to live. Thrown in some discussion of relationships as Lynch tells about the one girl he really loved and it all sort of grinds to a halt, struggling to really get across the emotional side of their situation.
Thankfully this then rises up for another dramatic, tense and horrific series of scenes which is almost on par with the earlier moment of horror. And it delivers a satisfying happy but not totally happy ending. If only the middle section hadn't felt so limp then "Frozen" could have been great instead of ending up just very good.
Now the reason why it is very good is because writer and director Adam Green really makes the horror aspect of the movie work, be it the situation up in the chair lift as freezing weather closes in or down on the ground with the wolves. But it also is the trio of performances from Shawn Ashmore, Emma Bell and Kevin Zegers which make it work and they make the horror of the situation truly horrific from what lows below to skin freezing to the frozen poles.
What this all boils down to is that "Frozen" is a very good attempt at delivering survival horror with the big scenes really working to deliver the horror element. It is only spoilt by the fact that in between the big scenes it ends up a bit limp and doesn't really get across the emotional depth it is striving for.