Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Review: Frozen

Shot on location during a harsh winter month, Frozen is the story of three young college students stuck on a ski lift. The perfect series of mistakes are made, leaving the three kids up on that lift without hope of rescue for at least a week. And while it sounds like a simple story, I know what might be running through your mind as you read this: All the ways in which this couldn’t possibly ever happen, all the things you would do if you were in this situation, and writer/director Adam Green obviously had the same thoughts you had. This is a simple story, but its telling will rip your nerves ragged and leaving you wincing and near tears. This is hardcore and it will not stop tearing at you once these kids are stuck, ripping at your heart and your soul as you see them make mistakes. The simple act of touching becomes harsh and vicious when frostbite sets in, and then the unflinching burn from a relentless sun simply beats down on them all day long. There is no merciful reprieve for our main characters; no clever till turn of chance and opportunity that lands a pizza on their laps. They are stuck and time is working steadily against them.

Two boyhood friends regularly take the mountain ski trip in order to get away from the stress of their school life. They’ve made this trip on dozens of mountains, sharing jokes and camaraderie in the way so many men have. They’ve been bound by a lifetime of familiarity and experience. But now the girlfriend of one of the two wants to tag along wants to learn how to ski, wants to spend time with the man she loves and share in his experiences. This is a triangle dynamic where two people hide their resentment of one another for the sake of their one point of common concern. So as much as this film is about three people facing the rigors of nature, this is also about a group dynamic that seems destined to crumble from the very beginning. The acting is unbelievably intense with an unbelievably deep performance from Sean Ashmore that finds greater strength than we think him capable of at first.

Look, going any further with regards to this film will spoil it for any future viewer. I’ve seen many horror films, as my blog attests. I love the genre, from the gory and sometimes comedic to the serious and oftentimes disturbing. “Frozen” falls into the latter category. My nerves were shot through with panic, fear, and pure horror. I was left a ragged little ball of tear-stained misery by the end. Green presents a film that is intimate and personal with a kind of horror I rarely ever find in this day and age. He drives a proverbial fist to the gut, yanks you back by the hair, and spits on what is left of your dignity with a cocky smile and dismissive drop to the ground. That damn Green just has a knack for doing sadistic things to my mind, I think.

5 out of 5.

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