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.