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Basically, the moral of “Frozen” is: Don’t try and steal lift passes. Or maybe don’t persuade the ski-lift operator to let you go up the mountain even though it’s closed. Or possibly even don’t have a girlfriend. Actually, fuck it, just don’t bother going skiing – that way you’ll never end up stuck up a ski-lift for a week. If you do by some inexplicable reason find yourself stuck up a ski-lift for a week even though you never went skiing, well, fate’s dealt you a real bad hand there and there’s nothing I can do about it. At least not until I’ve finished this ski-lift rescusing course I’m enrolled in at the moment – but that’s another story. You probably don’t want to hear about that or about how well I’m doing or how I’m top of the class or anything. No? Not even about how I reckon the lecturer fancies me? Not even if I tell you about that? Ok. Suit yourself.
Not even if I tell you about the time the teacher leant over and one of her buttons was undone and I could see her bra?
Ok, fine. Back to “Frozen”.
Well, it was amazing. Any fears of Adam Green not being able to stretch the premise to feature length were stuck up a ski-lift somewhere so weren’t around to bother me during the film. Therefore throughout, I was positioned firmly towards the frontal lip of my chair, or ‘the edge of my seat’ if you will – it was that gripping.
Basically, “Frozen” concerns three twenty somethings who go on a skiing holiday presumably to drink alcohol, ski, snowboard, have sex and splash their legs with piss because they’re not used to the strange reverse step in the toilet and they don’t know where to aim (wait, they weren’t in Austria, sorry). They’re also a bit naughty because they manage to blag their way onto the ski-lift without a proper lift pass, and then (in what causes the horrific events that shape the film) they decide to go for one last run and beg the bloke on the lift to let them go up the mountain even though it’s closed. He lets them – presumably because a girl with tits asked him, and they set off up to the top of the slope.
BUT THEN THE LIFT STOPS.
I won’t tell you why, but it does, and basically they’re going to be stuck up there for a week unless they do something about it. So what do they do? Well this is where the review ends, buddy. I don’t want to ruin it for you – but they try a multitude of things to try and get out of their predicamanet, and a multitude of these things are stupid. Herein lies my only qualm – basing a film around a puzzle of sorts brings with it a serious problem – once you reckon you’ve worked out a better way for them to get down, all you want to see is them try that, and when they don’t it just gets really frustrating. They’re stuck up this lift about 25 metres in the air, all they needed to do was to take their jackets off, tie them together and one of them climb down the jacket-rope (there’d be a bit of a drop, but not much), then throw the jackets back up to the two left in the lift (you could wrap them around a boot or something), then ski down and get help. Then everyone could go home and a have a nice, sweaty orgy in the sauna.
THEY DON’T DO THIS.
Instead they royally fuck it up. Of course, if they’d got help within 20 minutes the film would be rubbish – they have to do it wrong otherwise there’s no tension. As it is, there’s loads of tension, because they do it wrong – which isn’t a bad thing. This tension (stop saying tension) gets more and more unbearable as the film progresses and by the time the penis-retractingly scary wolves turn up, you’ve got all you need for a rollicking horror rush.
It helps that it’s backed up by strong performances all round (especially the bit with Kane Hodder – WHAM BAM THANKYOU MA’AM*) – these three youngsters really put their all in, particularly when braving the harsh conditions they clearly had to endure. I’ve read people critisising the lack of depth and notable character traits, but they’re playing students – they portray them just right! I particularly enjoyed the whole “Your girlfriend is rubbish, stop letting her hog you, you’re suppossed to be MY best friend” backstory they had going on – there’s student character depth for you. Adam Green also continues his winning streak with his tight, taut and terrifying direction, keeping it simple and pulling a few stellar shock moments out of the bag along the way. I think everything this man has done is fantastic and I can only hope that he carries on at this level.
Overall, “Frozen” was one of the most tense, exciting and downright shocking films I’ve seen in a while – it surpassed my expectations by such a long way and I left the screening trying really hard not look like a gormlessley grinning fool such was my satisfaction.
The huge wet patch on my trousers didn’t help either.
“Frozen” is out in UK cinemas on 24th September.
*I have no idea why I said that.
Adam Green (director) / Adam Green (screenplay)
CAST: Emma Bell … Parker O’Neil
Shawn Ashmore … Joe Lynch
Kevin Zegers … Dan Walker
Ed Ackerman … Jason
Rileah Vanderbilt … Shannon
Kane Hodder … Cody