Monday, 12 July 2010

Noel's Review: Frozen

Having had the chance to meet Frozen writer/director Adam Green (alongside his close friend, Wrong Turn 2 helm Joe Lynch), it's clear to see how the director has fashioned such a cult following with genre fans.

At last year's FrightFest, the pair were almost omnipotent and seemed to be reveling in getting down to some serious fun and frolics with everyone and anyone around. Their homage to An American Werewolf in London was a festival highlight and their presence was enough to make me - and probably many others - seek out their work when I got home.

Green will return to the Leicester Square event in August this year with the UK premier of his sequel to the 2006 rural hack-a-thon Hatchet that made his name - although I must admit that, having now seen the original, this isn't one I'm champing at the bit to catch. However, the premise of Frozen, which is set to be launched by Momentum in September, is one that is well capable of sparking curiosity.

Where Hatchet was set to the misty backdrop of a New Orleans swamp, Frozen uses a desolate ski resort to inflict terror on its trio of victims. Three teenagers - one of whom is bizarrely named Joe Lynch - manage to scam a late night trip down the mountain having bribed the chairlift operator. When a mix up at the controls sees them stranded in the chair, the gang must face the fact that due to the harsh conditions and real possibility they'll be stuck there for days, they are going to have to take action - or die.

It’s a great high concept premise that's backed by some pretty engaging performances and, for the most part, provides some pretty enjoyable fare. The relationship between the three leads, a young couple and a male best friend who feels he is being squeezed out, is enough to give the simple narrative a little extra drama. The introduction of an extra threat in the second act could be deemed unnecessary by those looking for a deeper, more contemplative piece of film. However, it's not really enough to derail what is a pretty entertaining 94 minutes.

Some slightly odd dramatic choices involving the female lead allow the music to swell to a score that is a little reminiscent of Michael Giachinno's work on Lost - which makes for some pretty strange moments. Here, I felt myself questioning whether I was witnessing a directorial misstep, but feel it may have more to do with Green's own sense of humour. But all in all, these are mild criticisms for a film that - while not achieving its full conceptual potential - is well worth your time.

Noel Mellor
Grimm Up North Online Marketing Co-ordinator