After so much bloodshed and creepy-crawlies horror, it’s time to finish our winter movie special with a much more down-to-earth approach about the dangers of riding a chairlift, as seen in the thriller Frozen.
(USA 2010, director: Adam Green)
Three people are accidentally left behind on a chairlift while on a ski trip and have to survive the hardships of nature.
Adam Green is mostly known for his Hatchet I-III slasher series, so this thriller comes as a surprise. Even if there are some uncomfortable scenes of gore to watch, it’s actually more about the characters who are very well developed. Despite some stereotypical bro and girlfriend talk at the beginning, the dialogue becomes increasingly touching and the characters likeable so that one can’t but feel compassion for them. First trying to pass the time with jokes, but then revealing more about their fears and insecurities makes them vulnerable and more interesting than many 2 hour dramas sometimes try to achieve. Witty remarks and some dark sense of humor also make the terrifying situation more bearable.
And there are some very tense moments indeed. Considering that almost everything plays out on a chairlift, it’s incredible how suspenseful and dramatic almost each scene is. The quieter dialogue moments should be boring, but they all feel so natural and real that it doesn’t matter that it often takes some time before the next action set-piece sets in. This is one of those movies in which a simple premise is enough to be terrifying, but with each passing moment it gets worse and worse, leading from one spine-tingling situation to the next.
Of course one has to dispense with belief at some points, so the movie isn’t for those who already have a problem with characters leaving their cellphones at home. There are certainly enough scenes in which those same people will be ready to throw something at the screen, because characters don’t seem to act smart enough or too many bad coincidences happen in quick succession. But then again, one wouldn’t have a thriller but end up with just people sitting and waiting to freeze to death or (if they’re really that clever) get down without any problems. It’s futile to talk about this when all it boils down to is that Frozen is simply a perfect mix of thriller, survival horror, drama, and a bit of comedy that’s refreshingly different from other movies.
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