Parker, Joe, and Dan take to the mountain for some fun in the snow in the Adam Green horror-thriller Frozen. Rather than pay the going rate for lift tickets, the young deviants pay off the lift operator to let them ski for a fraction of what they would normally have to pay. Everything seems to be going great until the friends take one last run and get stuck on the lift as the resort is closing for the weekend, due to inclement weather. The trio is forced to fight for their lives. And in the process, they do completely unthinkable things in as they attempt to survive the weekend.
Frozen is an intense and swiftly paced thriller writer/director Adam Green. It has strong horror overtones with a survival backdrop. The film wastes very little time establishing backstory. But it cleverly uses the time that the trio is trapped on the chairlift to sneak in some character development and unveil ample information about the three friends. The film is very fast paced and even though it takes place in only one central location, its lack of shooting locations does not hinder the film.
The script is very well written. The dialogue between the three protagonists is impressive and representative of how one would expect to see someone behave in a life or death situation. The bickering between the cast does get obnoxious at times but it’s unrealistic to expect that the characters would just sit there and say please and thank you to one another while trapped on a ski lift and facing the onset of frostbite.
I am surprised by just how strong the performances are in Frozen. They are exceptionally well played, particularly for a horror film. Green shines as a director but that is thanks, in no small part, to his talented young cast. Shawn Ashmore, Kevin Zegers, and Emma Bell are all excellent in their roles. The trio has a brilliant onscreen dynamic that elevates the film far above what one would expect from a film that only uses one locale. Films of this ilk often veer into boring territory but thanks to a great screenplay, the keen oversight of Green, and the acting chops of his young cast, the film is constantly entertaining.
The effects are done practically. And they are very impressive. Frequent Adam Green collaborator Kane Hodder was the stunts coordinator on the film. He also makes a cameo appearance in the picture as well. Though there isn’t a high body count or a great deal of carnage that occurs in the film, Frozen makes great use of the onscreen violence that does transpire and uses it to incite an imminent sense of dread in the viewer.
Frozen is a serious film effort from Adam Green that proves the director is capable of crafting a highly intelligent film. He’s shown that he is capable of putting together an entertaining popcorn flick with the Hatchet series but Frozen shows that Green also has the capability of making a mature and well thought out psychological horror film as well.
If you haven’t seen Frozen, it is well worth checking out. It is suspenseful, smartly written, and boasts excellent performances. Frozen is available on DVD and Blu-ray.
Director(s): Adam Green
Writer(s): Adam Green
Stars: Shawn Ashmore, Emma Bell, Kevin Zegers
Studio/ Production Co: Anchor Bay
Length: 93 Minutes
Sub-Genre: Survival Horror