DECEMBER 14, 2012
From now on I should just ask publicists if the movie they are pimping is one that is built around a twist, and if it is I won't bother asking for a copy to review. Because The Frozen is a decent thriller, competently made, etc - but there's not much I can talk about without spoiling its twist, and even if I take a lot of effort to carefully talk around it a reader will probably be able to figure it out by proxy. So what can I review? The font on the credits?
Actually I quite liked the titles, now that I think about it. And again, I liked the movie; though that twist is one I have seen a few too many times, I know I may have seen a few more such films than the average viewer, and thus they won't have been as tired of seeing the ultimate reveal play out. Also, and this is important, I actually didn't call it right away, because for a good chunk of the movie I actually thought they were going for ANOTHER twist. There's a character played by Noah Segan that pops up, and seems to be only seen by her, so I thought he was a ghost of her unborn child, who she was considering aborting. So it was nice to be distracted/wrong, as the last couple times I've seen the actual twist in play, I called it within minutes.
I was also relieved, because it helps solidify the movie as a horror flick, rather than a supernaturally tinged morality tale. Again, can't be too specific, but there are a number of scare bits in the 3rd act, some recalling the movie Wind Chill (another snowbound thriller with two people), so that was a bit of a surprise as I thought the movie would stay on the thriller side of things. That said, not all of them were exactly welcome - there's at least one nightmare scene too many, and the vagueness behind certain bits doesn't correlate successfully with the wait it takes to find out what they meant.
It also doesn't help another of the movie's issues, which is that one of the characters exits just after the halfway point, leaving the other to carry the movie themselves. Not that the performer isn't up to the task, but it makes a movie that's low on action/story even lower - now they don't even have dialogue to fall back on, and instead we just watch them sort of wander around like Tom Hanks in Cast Away before he "meets" Wilson. To be fair, the dialogue in the first half was rather clunky at times (it reminded me of Kirkman's dialogue in "The Walking Dead" (the comic), where everyone is constantly saying exactly what they are doing or what they need to accomplish), but it was SOMETHING, and the troubled relationship between the two was giving the movie a chunk of its energy, so the time between the character's exit and the horror stuff (15 minutes or so) is rather tough to get through, because nothing is happening at a point in the narrative where things should be ramping up.
Sorry to make this so short, but honestly I can't think of much more to say without spoiling it, and even with a warning I'd rather not since overall this is one of the better entries in this sub-sub-genre, and the performances of Segan and Brit Morgan make it worth watching even if you figure it out quicker than I did. The Colorado scenery is quite nice, I really enjoyed the score by Paloalto's James Grundler, and my theory turned out to be wrong, which should be something that bugs me but when it comes to horror movies (especially after 2400+ in a row), it's a relief to know I can still be at least somewhat surprised. Also not helping this review's longevity (or lack thereof) is the barebones DVD, which has the trailer and nothing else, further cementing this as an imperfect but decent rental for those who enjoy survival thrillers.
What say you?