I admit it: I’m a sucker.
I realize this happened a while ago. I was about 12 years old, at the prime of my skiing days(right before I decided not to go pro and instead try to hit on women.) I forget what movie I was watching, but a preview came on for Aspen Extreme where these two fluorescent-clad guys were running around Aspen, Colorado, skiing off-trail, hooking up with hot, rich women, you know, good stuff that any pubescent heterosexual male would eat up.
The movie sucked. Well, at the time it was awesome, but looking back, yeah, it sucked. But it was a skiing movie. I COULD NOT stay away. Granted, it wasn’t as cheesy as Lane Meyer winning the big race with one ski, but at least Better Off Dead was meant to be that way.
So, 15 years later, I get suckered in again, except this time it’s a horror movie: Frozen. I expected big things, like, not wanting to ever go skiing again for fear of being mauled by a wendigo, or getting killed by a chair-lift operator who’s jealous of my girlfriend. Sadly, all it made me want to do was head up to Vermont.
The plot is pretty straight-forward: A guy goes skiing with his best friend and girlfriend. After hustling a chair-lift operator to let them ski without a lift ticket, the three get stuck on a chair-lift, and end up trying to survive because:
1) The mountain is closed all week during what seems like peak ski season, just because…
2) No one checks the chair-lifts after they are shut down
3) There apparently isn’t a chair-lift operator at the top of the lift, which means the guy at the bottom is magically able to stop the lift when someone at the top has a problem getting off
4) There is nothing wolves like more than skiing
Good times and hilarity ensue.
Besides these plot problems, the movie itself is pretty intense. People die. Blame is placed. Pasts are dug up. People try to be heroes. While there isn’t much violence in the film (just your average broken legs, wolf attacks, and a scene that makes putting your tongue on a frozen metal pole seem like fun), those scenes work well as a whole, because it makes the movie more personal. They are driving forces that keep the movie interesting in the dramatic department.
Which leads to what this movie is: a drama/thriller, with horror devices. It’s not a “horror movie”. That’s not a bad thing. Sure, the horror elements, while sparse, are cringe-worthy, but about midway through the movie, there’s no real fear. It’s kind of like that movie Alive: after you get past the realization of what’s going to happen, you’re not really scared. Maybe that parallel is meant to be in Frozen.
I did have one thing nagging at me throughout the movie. One of the actors was familiar, but I couldn’t place him. Turns out, it was Shawn Ashmore, Iceman from the X-Men series. You can’t make this stuff up.
I give this movie 3 out of 5 frozen Jack Nicholsons. It may seem high considering the review, but the effort was noble.