If you go skiing or snowboarding this winter, be aware: you could get stranded on the ski lift, you could get frostbite and you could get eaten by wolves. These are real threats and common occurrences, people. In the thriller Frozen, such horribly routine situations are explored.
Frozen stars Emma Bell ("The Walking Dead"), Kevin Zegers ("Gossip Girl") and Shawn Ashmore (X-Men) as three young people who bribe a ski lift operator to let them back on the slopes at closing - but instead find themselves stranded several stories above the ground, with no hope of reprieve for at least five days.
In other words, it's a crappy day.
Frozen is well made and fast-paced, despite the fact much of the story is set on a stationary ski lift. Director Adam Green (Hatchet II) evokes the most out of his three young actors; Bell and Ashmore are especially strong. You really feel for the characters and their situation.
Unfortunately, Green, who also wrote the movie, is seemingly fixated on the viscous nature of wolves. Wolves, who rarely pose a threat to humans, are the real bad guys in the movie and are responsible (SPOILER) for killing two (and nearly all three) of the stranded souls.
Having the threat there is okay, but using the wolves so liberally exposes a massive flaw in Frozen; that Green couldn't figure out a more interesting way to pick off his characters. Given the movie's title and premise, you would have thought he could have taken it in a different, less predictable direction.
And yet, Frozen isn't predictable. Not entirely. You really don't know how the film is going to end. It could close like Open Water, with both stranded individuals meeting their fate, or several of the characters could survive. Will the characters be saved or forced to save themselves? It isn't clear, and this is what keeps Frozen compelling.
If not for the heavy and inaccurate use of wolves, Frozen could have been a great movie. As is, it's an adequate thriller. Frozen maintains tension throughout, but had potential to be something much better.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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