This movie will freeze you to the edge of your seat
When a movie takes place mostly in one primary location, it is up to the actors and a script with believable enough dialogue and scenarios to hold the viewers attention.
Frozen is a film that primarily takes place on a single ski lift. It begins as best friends Joe Lynch (Shawn Ashmore) and Dan Walker (Kevin Zegers), along with Dan’s girlfriend, Parker O’Neil (Emma Bell), attempt to get passes onto the ski lift for a discounted price (i.e., bribing the guy who runs the lift). After a day on the bunny hills due to Parker still being a beginner, the three opt for one final ride before heading home. Once again they coerce the attendant to let them on the ski lift for one last fast run, even though the park is closing early due to weather concerns.
Character development in films like this are crucial, as the movie’s entire premise succeeds or fails on whether or not you care for the people involved. Luckily, writer-director Adam Green (Hatchet, Spiral) plots it so the viewer can see some relation with the characters and how they act. They’re not clichéd characters just taking up space.
While forgoing cliches, another potential aspect that could be a narrative hang-up is the plausibility factor. How can three people be left on a ski lift while the park shuts down around them? Again, Green comes through with a realistic scenario that leaves his protagonists in this harrowing state that only becomes more dramatic when it’s realized that the park won’t reopen until the following weekend. Green constantly turns up the tension as he strikes pangs of fear in the viewer – and one of those pangs is the severity of the cold weather affecting the three characters. With dialogue that pulls at your heartstrings, hitting you emotionally, it may leave you pondering about what you would do if you were in that same situation. Sitting there frozen, your options are limited. The choices the characters must make in the face of death are ones you probably don’t want to fathom, but at the same time can’t help but realize are the only options.
The three actors are pretty much all fresh faces; the main recognizable face is Ashmore, who ironically played Iceman in the two X-Men sequels. Their low visibility in previous films plays in their favor, making them come across as relatable and realistic. All three work well with what they’re given, and they bring the viewer onto their side, which is vital for the film to work.
One of the keys to a successful suspense film is to have the viewer gasping for breath along with those involved, as well as knowing how to control their emotions throughout. Green handles the tension quite well, pacing it well so that the audience is always on edge. He understands the images he wants to get across, and helps put the viewer on the ski lift as well, really driving home the isolation, and fear the characters are experiencing.
Frozen is not for the faint of heart, as there are some cringe-inducing scenes that will cause even the hardcore horror fan to flinch for a moment due to the realism involved. Even so, it’s a heart-wrenching, intense film that will find itself frozen in your thoughts long after it‘s over.
Director: Adam Green Notable Cast: Shawn Ashmore, Emma Bell, Kevin Zegers Writer(s): Adam Green
Brendan Campbell was here when Inside Pulse Movies began, and he’ll be here when it finishes - in 2012, when a cataclysmic event wipes out the servers, as well as everyone else on the planet other than John Cusack and those close to him. Brendan’s the #1 supporter of Keanu Reeves, a huge fan of popcorn flicks and a firm believer that sheer entertainment can take a film a long way. He currently resides in Canada, where, for reasons stated above, he’s attempting to get closer to John Cusack.
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