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A Movie a Week#12: Frozen

Anybody who’s been skiing has experienced it, that moment of sheer panic when the ski lift stops, suspended in mid air and nowhere near its destination.  What if it didn’t start again? How long till it gets really cold? Could you make the jump? Well, our days of wondering are at an end, now we can see how that moment of panic would quickly develop into an endless endurance trial.

The premise is simple.  A couple of have-it-all twentysomethings, Joe and Dan (played, ironically, by X Men’s Ice Man Shawn Ashmore) are on their annual ski trip. When Dan invites his girlfriend Parker, Joe’s dreams of a bromance-bonding session are squashed. Feeling a little shortchanged on slope time, they convince a ski lift attendant to allow them one final late night run before the resort closes for the week.  Thinking he’s seen the trio return, the attendant closes the ski lift, trapping them half way up the mountain.  Suddenly a ruined guys-own weekend becomes the least of their worries.

Like the Open Water movies before it, Frozen is a breed of horror movie that runs the risk of being slightly one note. After all, this will inevitably be known as ‘that ski-lift movie’, pacing and tension are everything and if they’re off, well, like its trapped protagonists, it’ll suffer a drawn out death.

Luckily however, Frozen avoids this thanks to the storytelling efforts of director Adam Green.  He may have only a few feature credits under his belt, but the guy knows how to shoot horror, making sure that the dialogue heavy scenes necessary in any movie are book ended by some truly toe-curling sequences.  A spoon full of sugar of sorts, they help carry the movie and make sure you’re not left looking at your watch thinking ‘are they dead yet?’ Instead, the film leaves you feeling just that bit more grateful that you’re watching it from the warmth of civilization.

Green knows how to get your attention, be it by gratuitous bone crunching sounds, a frost bitten hand or an ever present hungry pack of wolves, it’s his ability to dish out tension that’ll keep you gripped, or erm frozen ( couldn’t resist) to the screen.

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