Frozen - 2010
PLOT - Three skiers are stranded on a chairlift and forced to make life-or-death choices that prove more perilous than staying put and freezing to death
LOWDOWN - While at school I remember my roommate Jeanette asking me if I had ever seen the movie Frozen since I was such a big Hatchet fan. It seriously took me until 2011 until I finally got around to watching it late night on TV. Never before had I honestly been that nervous watching a movie before. Talk about a living breathing panic attack.
This film truly showed me what a great storyteller/director Adam Green is. I mean of course I love the Hatchet series. In fact I believe it's the best modern day slasher of this era. It was a fun, campy take on splatter old school horror, and after being able to witness the epic conclusion of Hatchet III this past summer, I'm seriously floored and look forward to whatever Adam has in store for audiences film wise in the future.
Frozen was the film that showed me that Green wasn't just the newest member of the splat pack. That he just did horror movies that were bloody and over the top. This was a movie that showed how mature as a new and up coming film maker could be. The suspense that was shown in this movie seriously reminded me of some of the greatest thrillers of the 1950's, 60's, and 70's. In fact I would go so far to say this is the Jaws of winter movies. What I love about it is that it isn't a fantasy, it isn't a slasher, it's real. This could seriously happen and that idea is down right terrifying. As a person who lives up in New England, who has gone skiing before, Frozen was a movie that made me beyond nervous, and on the edge of my seat the entire time.
With three very likeable characters, played by great actors, the story takes it's time with it's pacing. We establish the three leads, and can't honestly help but relate to them. With plenty of time to set the scene, what seems like a skier's worst nightmare comes into play with the three of them are stranded up on a chair lift 30 feet in the air for an entire week.
Sure there's a few holes in how that could really happen, but Green did such an amazing job that you never notice nor care. Here are these poor people, stuck on a chair lift up on a ski mountain that's closed for a whole week. The set up of how they do get left behind is pretty clever, and the moment the lights go off the Parker knows it's a long weekend and that their stuck up there for a whole week you can't help but get chills.
What I love is all the little background side things Green threw in to make everything more believable. I loved the "rules" of going up to the mountain, how one of them is to forget about real life such as talking about school. Or Lynch getting the number and not having a pen. Love the line about him about smoking pot like 10000 times. Like I said before this makes everything more real, and helps the viewer feel as if they are stuck on the ski lift with them.
Of course we get little cameos of Green's regular crew (love that Joel David Moore does a voice cameo on the radio calling Kane back from grooming the mountain.) but all these little things of showing what horrible luck these three have being stuck there makes the slow building suspense so much worse.
If you ever want to scream and feel stick to your stomach, wait until you watch a character who fell asleep with their hand on the safety bar only to wake up to find it frozen onto it.
The film really picks up after one of the three decide to simply jump and try to land on the ground below to slide down the mountain to get help. It's freezing cold, and the three of them are beginning to get frost bite. Never before EVER watching a movie did I feel so sick, and nervous watching that scene. Rumor has it somebody fainted when they saw the movie screened. From there it's a battle of deciding to leap and risk death below where wild wolfs are (wolfs in New England...I'll go with it.) or freeze to death on the chair. The dialog following such as Parker's speech about her dog, and another character talking about how it wasn't their fault the other person got killed is amazing. Total props to Green for making such a strong screenplay. Sure it sounds boning, just people stuck on a ski lift talking.
Trust me, it isn't. In fact Frozen now is one of my top favorite 30 movies of all time, and one of the strongest films to have come out in the last few years. If you are looking for a movie filled with suspense, that will make your palms sweat, your stomach roll, and your heart race...Frozen is the movie for you.
So bundle up, and remember...don't get stuck on the lift!