Reviews

Theatrical Releases: ‘Frozen’

Adam Green wants to be Steven Spielberg. Within the press notes that accompanied the preview screening of his latest feature, Frozen (2010), Green very overtly expresses his undying love for the legendary director. In addition, the film itself is peppered with references to Spielberg classics ET (1982) and Jaws (1975) and it is the horror and tension of that infamous shark flick which Green so desperately wants to emulate.

The fact that he doesn’t come close should not be held against the director of the 2006 slasher comedy hybrid Hatchet and psychological drama Spiral (2007). Spielberg has only written a few of his movies (Close Encounters of the Third Kind [1977] being the only one of any merit) whereas Green is a true auteur, having both written and directed this tale of three snowboarders trapped on a ski resort stair lift.

In Frozen, a trio of chums – Dan (Kevin Segers), Joe (Shawn Ashmore) and Parker (relative newcomer Emma Bell) – are forced to brave the elements, the wildlife and the dialogue during their chilling mountainside experience. Though I have no intention of spoiling the movie, rest assured that there are liberal lashings of frost bitten fingers and blood spattered snow.

It’s not a great film by any means. The camera work is fairly bland and, although the actors try hard with the scraps they have been fed, you are ultimately left with the inescapable feeling that if the protagonists had a combined IQ which ran into double figures they would have been at home toasting marshmallows over the fire in thirty minutes, rather than freezing their collective genitals off on the icy slopes.

Frozen is certainly far from the “emotional film that really tugs on the heart strings”. If the director had had the grace and gumption to portray Frozen as being an homage to cheap, late night B-movies then I’d have perhaps enjoyed it more. There are moments of true terror and a fair dollop of tension, but it quickly became clear that Green may be boxing far above his weight.
If you fancy a bit of harmless, disposable schlock horror then I encourage you to give Frozen a chance. However, if you’re looking for something more meaty and substantial, I suggest you dig out that old Jaws DVD and make yourself a bacon sandwich…

Lee Cassanell

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