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Frozen (2010)

October 8th, 2010 by unkle lancifer · 10 Comments

I know I may judge things too quickly but trust me; I’m always so excited to be wrong. In fact, I wish I could be wrong more often. Wrongness makes me super happy. Late last night I thought I’d catch ADAM GREEN’s FROZEN on the pay-per-view. As it started, I thought, “Oh crap, this is a ‘dude’ movie, I just paid five bucks for a ‘dude’ movie and I’m not in the mood.” I like dude movies for sure but sometimes I need a little more than wheelie popping and hackie sack playing from my movie characters. Chances are, no matter who you are, I don’t care about your car. Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong about the trio of characters that were introduced at the beginning of FROZEN, I thought I was going to hate them and now I can’t stop thinking about them.

FROZEN is an arduous experience with an emphasis on experience. As the credits rolled at the end I realized that I was exiting a very different door than the one that I came in through. In a way it kind of brought back memories of the OPEN WATER films (Yes, I even dug the second one) but it really kicks the dilemma and the human element up a few hundred notches (not to mention feet.)

The premise involves two guys, a girl and a soon to be unanimous desperate longing for a pizza place, getting trapped on a ski lift half way up the mountain. With its stagnant setting and limited cast, FROZEN could not have been an easy film to pull off but GREEN certainly does so in spades. There is real suspense here and moments that had me wincing and holding my head in horror. As far as delivering the thrills go, I doubt the screws could have been tightened with better expertise but ultimately we get much more than an endurance test.

I don’t want to ruin much here but GREEN, who also wrote the screenplay, does an incredible job with the human element of this film. Imagine THE BREAKFAST CLUB facing death. The nightmare scenario drifts down in such a way that I think anyone could relate. It brings forth moments in life when we realize we really may be up shit’s creek and that things may not just magically turn around for the better. We watch and feel the characters come to this horrid epiphany and it’s nearly impossible not to put yourself into their ski shoes.

Both KEVIN ZEGERS and SHAWN ASHMORE deliver strong, believable performances as two long time friends facing the end but who the heck is this EMMA BELL? EMMA BELL is frickin’ above and beyond amazing in this! She was killing me! I actually wanted to tell her, “Stop!” at one point because I was about to (sniff) lose it! In fact I don’t even want to think about it right now, it’s a nice day. I’m almost mad about being manipulated in such a way but I think there is so much truth in the dialogue and I know that my mind would be going to the same places that these characters’ minds go to in this situation. Really, the direction impresses a lot but the writing even more so.

So, short review because the less you know the better but an overall tip of the wool cap to all involved for making me squirm like a worm and actually making me feel something for some folks I initially wanted to shrug off. Check this one out whenever and however you get the chance. If you think you know the direction that the cold wind is going to blow in FROZEN, let me assure you that you’re probably just as wrong as I was.

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Tags: Trauma Au Courant




10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 jeffreygmmNo Gravatar // Oct 8, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    wolves are terrifying.  who knew?

  • 2 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Oct 8, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    Jeffreygmm,

    Yea I thought maybe the wolves could be controlled by slapping them on the nose with a newspaper but I guess I was wrong. How great to see REAL wolves and not CGI wolves too, makes all the difference.
    Funny too that the part of the movie that got to me the most was Bell talking about her poor puppy and meanwhile all those bad ass wolves down there!

  • 3 LaDraculNo Gravatar // Oct 8, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    Love Kevin Zegers.
    Hate heights. And wolves.

  • 4 lonenut2000No Gravatar // Oct 9, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    Apparently there’s some kind of rule against having a CELL PHONE with you on a ski slope…

  • 5 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Oct 9, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    Lonenut,

    Ha! You may be right! I think they explained that they didn’t bring their cell phones because they thought they would get damaged while skiing or something?
    I tend to have a blind eye toward ye old cell phone loop hole because I have never owned one!

  • 6 kiddofunkNo Gravatar // Oct 10, 2010 at 10:46 am

    Pretty effective film.  Full of suspense.  I agree the monologue about the new puppy waiting for her at home was gut-wrenching and really upset me.

  • 7 Tommy VNo Gravatar // Oct 12, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    Unkle Lancifer:
     
    I wasn’t going to watch this film because I hated Hatchet so much and couldn’t even finish Spindle. But I rented it on your strong recommendation.
     
    The film totally had me until it became a movie about wolves. The first time, yeah, pretty damn scary. Especially the way they did it. But then when it became the primary obstacle I kept wondering how the ski resort dealt with the marauding wolves that seem to hunt down and terrorize skiers without fear.
     
    A fun film (in the thriller way) but I was definitely wondering how Green was going to get out of this corner he painted himself into and still be satisfying… I don’t think he made it. But I found this so disappointing only because the 1st 70 minutes was done so well. They deserved better than the deus ex machina they gave themselves of wolves with selective menus.
     
    Plus I’m still mad about sitting through Hatchet.
     
    (I also rented Open Water 2 as well based on your recommendation. While I have not seen it yet I am already angry with their stupidity of not lowering the ladder.)

  • 8 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Oct 12, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    TV,

    Let me know what ya think of Open Water 2. I’m kind of fascinated by this lil sub genre of survival/Doh! horror (Black Water is another example, I liked that one a lot too). People seem to divide into two camps with these movies. Team 1 is the “There by the grace of God go I ” team and the second group just gets pissed off and frustrated. 
    I saw a thread on Imdb where a guy was complaining that the female lead “whined too much” . Personally, I think whining is an appropriate response to slowly freezing to death.

  • 9 Tommy VNo Gravatar // Oct 13, 2010 at 12:49 am

    Open Water 2 was my favorite of the bunch. I thought it was the best storytelling of the 3. I was surprised by how good it was! I never would have rented it without you mentioning it.
     
    I think the main problem with all of these films is the audience has the time to think, “Well, why don’t they do that? Or that?” and no matter how they manage to get out of the mess the audience will respond, “Well why didn’t they try that first!”
     
    I supposed this is where Open Water is superior in that it just didn’t give them a way out. They die. The end. Don’t go snorkeling.
     
    The audience isn’t under the same pressure or with the same intelligence (or lack of) as the characters are essentially comparing their own comfortable experience of calmly watching a movie to treading water under threat of dying. It’s difficult to convey that frame of mind. I guess you either choose to go with it or you fight it and tell yourself that this would NEVER NEVER happen to you because you’re smarter than those idiots. (That being said why didn’t they make a rope of their jackets to at least give themselves a much shorter distance to fall in Frozen. You could then untie the jackets and wear them again right after. That was the first thing I thought of and they never tried it!!!! What idiots!!)
     
    In hindsight I think that’s basically the 2 camps you mentioned.
     
    It didn’t bug me how they found themselves adrift as much as I thought it would. It’s harder to believe that they would be friends with that jackass than it is that some idiot would toss someone afraid of water into the water because they thought it was “good for them”. I know some jackasses that would absolutely do that. (Brothers, not friends)
     
    I thought it was so well made that I suspected it was not filmed as a sequel to Open Water but that the title may have been re-enginnered for that purpose. According to at least one website that’s what happened. Lions Gate picked up distribution rights and rechristened it Open Water 2.
     
    I think it made people more prone to dislike and dismiss it. It deserved better than that.

  • 10 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Oct 14, 2010 at 12:34 am

    TV,

    You should really check out Black Water too.
    I think one thing I like about these movies is that there is sort of a prerequisite moment where the characters become hyper aware of their appreciation for their everyday lives. I tend to find it moving for some reason.  There’s this “everything would be fine if I could just get home” thing that I appreciate.
    In other words, they make me so happy to be sitting on my couch watching a movie.

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