Thursday, November 11, 2010


I've gone on record a few times expressing my distaste for the horror fanboy's wet dream, Adam Green.  I undergo wars of debates with fellow horror fanatics constantly about his films Hatchet and it's follow-up Hatchet 2.  I appreciate comedy and gore as much as the next person, I just think they're a bit overrated...You can put your pitchfork and flames away, now. Thank-you.  That being said, I turned myself away from the highly anticipated thriller Frozen simply because Adam Green's name was attached to it.  This is the part where you can all say "I told you so" and I'm forced to bite my tongue.  Frozen was pretty damn entertaining.  Not only did Green pair up the anticipation of death feeling made popular by 2003's Open Water, but he cast a group of actors that I grew up with.  I don't mean literally, but when you're watching the kid from Air Bud and the hot dude from The Animorphs start to be in danger, it pulls at the heart strings like you're watching your baby brother being thrown out with the bathwater. 

I have to hand it to him, Green knows how to make a suspenseful film.  This isn't to say the film isn't without it's problems, but I actually believed and felt for these three characters.  Frozen is such a drastic contrast to Hatchet, that it's almost hard to believe that both films came from the same mind.  While Hatchet remains over-the-top and borderline campy, Frozen is highly stylized and very minimalistic.  Of course there were moments that left me kicking my knees up and groaning in disgust (you didn't think Green would make a film without just a little bit of gore, did you?), but overall, I was left with an extremely tense feeling and the hair on my arms standing at attention.

The story follows three (what seems to be) college students up at a ski resort for the weekend.  Dan and Lynch have been best friends for years, but this weekend Dan has decided to bring his girlfriend Parker.  Parker, who is much less experienced forces the group to be on bunny slopes all weekend and Lynch decides at the last minute to try and persuade the lift operator to let them on the bigger hill for one last run before it closes.  The three climb aboard the ski lift but after some communication errors and a less than attentive snowcat driver, the park is closed for the next five days and the three are left dangling high above a mountain, alone. 

To add to the fact that this film was incredibly well paced, I watched this under circumstances where no one around had seen the film.  The past few instances where I've watched scary movies from the comfort of my dorm room futon, someone in the room had seen the film, usually myself, so other things were around to distract us.  However, for some reason or another, the games of Halo: Reach stopped, obsessive facebook updates subsided, and cellphone text messages remained unread.  Green grabbed a hold of the 5 of us watching by the throat, and didn't let go until the credits began to roll. Basically, what Jaws did to going to the beach, Frozen did to going to ski resorts.

The craziest part about this film, is the near-perfect character development.  I absolutely LOVED the dialogue between the characters, especially once put in the life-threatening situations.  Emma Bell's portrayal of Parker was one of the best female characters in a horror movie in a long while, and Lynch played by Shawn Ashmore was an extremely likable and strong character that I found myself pulling for under my breath.  What tops it all off is that Adam Green did this entire film without CGI and without a green screen.  This three actors did an entire film from a fucking ski-lift.

To put it simply, I officially do not and can not hate Adam Green anymore.  He impressed me wholeheartedly with Frozen and more than made up for his comedic gore-fests.  He delivered a remarkably realistic thriller with characters that the audience actually cared about, and snuck in some gross-out moments for good measure.  I still dislike Hatchet, but Adam Green has successfully made me want to stick to sledding and snowball fights this winter.

3 comment(s):

Daph said...

shhh shhhh shhhhh, All my Horror freinds loved Hatchet, so I watched it and was highly bummed. Why didn't I like it? Why don't I like it? Why don't I want to watch Hatchet 2? And most of all, why do I stay quiet and not voice my opinion? DUNNO. But yippee I can come out of the corner and say I agree with you, wholeheartedly!! I wanted to give Frozen a go. And WOOT!! I am SO glad I did. I loved everything about this movie. (I even dropped a tear or two shhhhhh)

Renee said...

I agree 1000% percent...heck, I wrote pretty much this exact same review a month ago. I hated Hatchet. Hated it. And I was completely not sold that Frozen would be different...everyone was saying it was great but they keep saying all those same things about Green, and West, and Roth, and until now, I just kept coming away disappointed. Can't trust the internets!

But I liked this so much it was the featured film at my annual Halloween movie party...and it had exactly the same effect you described. Everyone was pulled in, they oohed and gasped and cringed at every new development. And I had people even more hardcore than myself in attendance, so that says something.

: said...

I honestly can't judge HATCHET, 'cause I haven't seen it or its sequel. I just honestly don't have any desire to (not a big slasher fan here). I did like GRACE -- which Green produced -- a lot, but got burned out pretty quick on all the hype surrounding the guy.

That said, I did buy FROZEN sight-unseen, after reading a plethora of very positive reviews.

It blew me away. Freakin' *loved* it. This one had my heart racing, and at times it was so intense I felt physically ill. No kidding.

Great review!


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