What’s the scariest thing you can imagine? Zombies? A psychotic killer? Demon midgets? How about complete seclusion and helplessness trapped fifty feet in the air with nowhere to go, and in the middle of a snow storm none the less. Yes, that cold unforgiving bitch named mother nature is the terrorizer in this movie, and it will probably give you second thoughts about planning your next ski trip. That’s the premise behind ‘Frozen.’ No, not Disney’s ‘Frozen’ (although it’s just as scary), I’m talking about Adam Green’s 2010 winter horror film.
Riding the wave of success from his new school slasher classic ‘Hatchet’, Green again helmed writing and directing duties with a slightly different approach this time. There are plenty of films surrounding bitter cold weather that I can think of, but most of them go a different direction like the zombies and killers I mentioned before. This film capitalizes on dealing with the extreme power that nature has over all of us and stays completely original while choosing to not go the usual path of other winter horror films. Relying strictly on real life situations that one could actually experience is what makes this film so terrifying.
The beginning of the film follows that ‘American Pie’ teen comedy style that we all know, and it surrounds three friends (Kevin Zegers, Shawn Ashmore, and Emma Bell) spending the day at a ski resort. Upon their insistence of one last run before shut down, their ski lift jams in mid air, and this is where the film takes a hard left turn. Now if that doesn’t sound bad enough already, the resort then forgets about them and shuts down for the weekend due to an oncoming snow storm. Couldn’t possibly get any worse from there, right?
I won’t lie. I was very VERY skeptical about watching this film when it was first released. It just sounded like a plot with no real direction and on top of that I absolutely despise cold weather. Boy, was I completely wrong. Green’s methodical attack on all of your senses and fears during an inevitably worsening situation is brilliant. He builds an atmosphere that is as chilling as the temperature seems in the film, which leaves that sense of “holy shit…this could actually happen to me” in the back of your mind.
Ultimately this film turned out to be an intense gut wrenching slow burn based on a possible real life situation, that I thoroughly enjoyed watching. Heights, hunger, the fear of frostbite, and a growing state of panic are just a few of the things that this film taps into, and it’s executed perfectly. Do yourself a favor and give this film a watch, and maybe cancel your ski resort membership while you’re at it.