61 Days of Halloween: Frozen
Most holidays worth their while encompass entire seasons, such as Christmas, for example. However, as you may have noticed there is a corporate push every year for us to think about the next holiday even sooner. While this has many negative side effects I figure I may as well embrace it.
Since Labor Day is really only good for college football and movie marathons cinematically it is as significant as Arbor Day, which means the next big day on the calendar is Halloween and we can start looking toward it starting now.
Daily I will be viewing films in the horror genre between now and then and sharing the wealth. Many, as is usually the case, will not be worth it so for every disappointment, I will try and suggest something worth while as well.
Frozen is a suspense/horror film that speculates on what may happen if three twenty-something friends were caught on a ski lift overnight. Despite playing to favorable and classically hyperbolic reactions at Sundance this film, despite its promise, is deeply flawed. There are spoilers herein.
The three protagonists Parker (Emma Bell), Joe (Shawn Ashmore) and Dan (Kevin Zegers) are well set up in the beginning portion of this film, however, that beginning is too protracted and talky especially considering the plot and the nature of it.
The concept of the film, under attack by some, is not the film’s downfall. The fact that these three get caught on the ski lift overnight is, in fact, a good concept which is not fully explored and those parts which are explored aren’t very well executed. One means for escape is never attempted and the first attempted was bound to fail based on how it was done. Joe jumps from the lift, abandons his snowboard but still tries to land on his feet, which was bound to break his legs.
Considering the film is called Frozen, the most the characters ever suffer is a low grade of frostbite and not hypothermia as you might expect. Furthermore, the deaths are not due to the elements but wolf attacks. This acts sort of as the opposite of a deus ex machina, wherein the characters’ destruction is brought about by a seemingly divine, or demonic, plot element randomly thrown into the mix.
So far as the cast is concerned, the expression “two out of three ain’t bad” comes to mind. Emma Bell seems to be trying too hard in this part and goes over-the-top in her more emotional scenes. Kevin Zegers isn’t there very long but is serviceable when he is there leaving the standout and ‘the glue’ as Shawn Ashmore who did quite well but even his best efforts can’t keep this thing together.
After being trapped conversations the characters are engaged in are far too distracted from the situation to be believable. They seemingly forget the very real situation they are in for much too long. Breaking some of the backstory-filling up with quiet or renewed panic would’ve been better.
The characters in this story are placed in a situation with really only three outs and they only tried two. They could’ve been put in a slightly more advantageous situation. Despite the claustrophobia and occasional tension the film does build it is all torn down by the missteps along the way.
Despite a well-intentioned effort at a different kind of suspense tale Frozen is tepid at best.