Monday, February 21, 2011

Frozen: Fucking Wolves!


I've been putting off watching Frozen for a very, very long time. This is because I, like many intelligent people, believe that snow is the 3rd most evil thing in the entire world behind sharks and the Emergency Alert System.



But after endless amounts of praise from my friends and after tireless provoking from my cat, I decided that it was finally time. Luckily for me, the Final Girl Film Club was in fact featuring Frozen for this month's film and I could think of no time like the present to finally give it a shot. Why I chose today to watch it, whilst shivering in my bed thanks to my drafty windows is beyond me, but nevertheless I have seen Frozen and lived to tell the tale.

Frozen is one of those films that you never really want to watch again. The same thing happened to me after I watched Matilda. I just didn't think I could withstand that scene where Matilda is hiding in Trunchbull's house ever again (I'm not joking that scene is intense). Frozen creates that same feeling of dread. Watching the film is an ordeal--it's a test of your will and it prevents you from really enjoying your President's Day. I don't mean of course that Frozen is a bad film--it most certainly is not. But it's not what I would deem a pleasant movie experience.

Hopefully you've heard the story by now. Three students are skiing and snowboarding and after bribing the ski lift man for one last run before the mountain closes--a misunderstanding results in their being stuck on the ski lift. Since it's Sunday and the mountain doesn't open again till the weekend, the three are pretty much doomed to freeze.



Now is a good as time as any to tell you that I hate skiing, snowboarding and any sport done in the snow. In fact, the first time I was ever on a ski lift was this summer at a wedding--there was no snow and all was good. Frozen is kind of like my worst nightmare except instead of sharks being in the snow there are wolves. Who suck terribly I should add but more on them later.

Here is why I appreciate Frozen. Adam Green, whom many know is responsible for Hatchet and Hatchet II aka a movie I'm not a huge fan of because it's just not my schtick, has flipped expectations on their head. Frozen is like an antidote to Hatchet. It's quiet, it's controlled and it's even oddly striking and beautiful at times. It's well written, there are no boobs---and shit actually gets scary. Frozen is a film that most anyone who didn't like Hatchet, should find effective. And it is--so effective. There's all this great foreshadowing and talk of the worst way to die and then we are forced to later watch what could quite possibly be considered the 4th worst way to die. The sight of a scurrying wolf makes our stomach lurch and the sudden and unexpected discovery of a hand stuck to a safety bar creates the worst possible feeling of agony you can ever imagine.



On Saturday night I walked down the street with no socks on and I thought I was going to die. Imagine being stuck on a ski lift for 2 days in the blistering, brutal and bull shitting cold. Frost bite! Ice boogers! I mean, that really, really sucks. Being that we too are stuck on the ski lift with them, we undergo this similar kind of agony. We are forced to endure their plight just as they are forced to endure the cold. It's a really, really simple tactic that works wonders.

Now...about these wolves. Man, fuck those wolves. They ruin everything! I really, really hated them. I was half expecting to exit my apartment later and find one snarling at me as I went to get the mail. And you know what I find really, really interesting about those wolves? Even though we've seen them several times throughout the movie, their appearance is never any less menacing. Every time they pop up we are still filled with that same sense of fear and hopelessness. It's like all could be fine and dandy in the world and then one snarl of a wolf could send our entire lives into a downward spiral straight to hell. FUCKING WOLVES! They drove me mad with their wild beast faces.



So even though I despise the cold and the snow, Frozen is one of the most effective contained surroundings horror films I have ever seen. That was a long descriptive sentence that I'm pretty sure made no sense, but just so you know--it's true. Aside from a few dry spots, there was pure emotion and really great acting on everyone's parts.



The first victim especially--is one hell of a moving and horrifying scene to watch. Overall, Frozen left me feeling really exhausted as I imagine our last remaining character also felt.

The best thing about Frozen however is that it's quiet. It takes its time to establish a true sense of horror and doesn't slam it in our faces with buckets of blood and gore. There IS gore I should add, and it is some of the worst you will come across because it's agonizing and slow. It made me physically wince and regret eating that slice of delicious pizza only moments before. So in closing, I am glad I have finally sucked up the courage and watched Frozen. I may never watch it again because I don't see myself wanting to go through it all again--but I can say that it is a great film and a refreshing spin on a genre so over crowded with boobs and stupidity. I still hate the snow--but Adam Green, I like you more now. Emergency Alert System---you still are the worst. And sharks? I think you know where you stand.



20 comments:

The Mike said...

One of my friends that I showed this to was fracking freaking over the wolves. She could not believe that the wolves would be there roaming around this ski resort, and thought it was a dumb addition. And I was all like "Dudette, you gotta have the wolves. The wolves make the whole flick awesomer." I stand by that sentiment.

Good work, TW. Glad to see you're keeping the anti-Hatchet 2 flag flyin'.

David said...

I loved this film, found it to be very effective and affecting for the reasons you give. ...and as you say, for anyone who only knows Adam Green for the Hatchet films (which I'll confess I really liked) it is quite the eye-opener to his range and potential.

B.E. Earl said...

I watched it over the weekend, and it sounds like you liked, if not enjoyed, the film more than I did.

I just couldn't help thinking about how stupid these people were. And maybe that was just because I don't ski nor do I understand anyone wanting to ski.

Because I share your belief about snow being evil. What's wrong with these people? Can't they see that?

Andre said...

Thanks TH---indeed the wolves make a large part of that dread and provide the action really. And there are definitely wolves out there btw--not that I've seen one, only coyotes but whatever wolves are cooler.

Davis- this is true, Adam Green worried me a little with Hatchet but after watching a film like Frozen you understand that he obviously does have a strong talent and respect for the genre. Frozen and Hatchet are apples and oranges. I don't despise Hatchet really, it's just not my kind of film.

B.E.- Usually, the characters in a film like this fill me with this deep sense of..."Why are you a dumbass" but for whatever reason I didn't mind them at all here. I found all of their decisions and logic to be pretty on par with what anyone else would do in a similar situation. The only thing I had wished was that they threw their snowboards at the Snow Cat (Driven by Kane Hodder) a bit earlier. But other than that, I was pretty OK and believed all their actions and responses.

B.STANK said...

This movie proves that Adam Green should stick to suspense and get away from the Hatchet horseshit. He could be an amazing filmmaker when he WANTS to be!!

Matt-suzaka said...

A lot of folks tried to argue that wolves wouldn't come to a ski resort because of all the people, however, there were no people there, it was night, and a dude was screaming and bleeding. Guess what, the wolves come out at night to eat bleeding screaming mother fuckers. It's true.

The first Hatchet film, despite being pretty bad, has grown on me for what it is, but Frozen is fantastic in most every way. I loved Emma Bell in the film, and she has a lot of weight to carry emotionally and does so quite well, I must say.

Another great Adam Green film that he co-directed is Spiral, which is very Hitchcock like and quite impressive indeed. I wrote a review for it over at Paracinema like 20 years ago. Well, more like 2, but I think you would certainly enjoy it, Andre. http://paracinema.net/2009/06/you-spin-me-right-round-baby-right-round/

Andre said...

Yes! I think you recommended that to me in my Hatchet review Matt. I'm still not 100% sure why I haven't seen it, I think it's one of those lost in the queue movies.....I will remedy this soon!

Emily C said...

Awesome movie and awesome review Andre! I have never been a fan of skiing/snowboarding either mostly because I suck at them and am terrified of going downhill at fast speeds, but my dad (prior to me moving out) insisted on a family ski trip every winter, and he would never let me just sit in the lodge!! Now if he ever brings up going skiing I think I will direct him to this film, quite like when anyone suggests to my boyfriend that he go into the ocean to swim he brings up Jaws. I do admit to liking Hatchet, but this film is better on so many levels.

The Fright Writer said...

I loved this film. The wolves are superb and even looking at the screenshot as I scrolled down gave me the shivers. First time I watched it I was half expecting some woeful CGI wolf or a build up that never delivered, but some of the close ups of them are terrifying. One of the best single location films in a long time.

Bleaux Leaux said...

Guess I'm gonna go sit at the outcasts table on this one, 'cause much like your friend, the wolves didn't work for me either (just something about the way Dan drops, legs break, and then, immediately, wolves!). But more to the point, I really enjoyed your review- nice piece of writing!

Andre said...

But, but the wolves were heard before they were seen which makes their appearance not that surprising. They smelt blood, so they came!

I really am going to champion the presence of the wolves. They are like a catalyst for the action. Without them the threat of getting down to help broken legs would not be as worry inducing. Also, it makes it so that staying on the ski lift is the better option---that is CRAZY.

And also the wolves are related to the Jaws idea of being the worst way to die. He sees them coming at him, and he gets eaten slowly and painfully as opposed to being chomped on from the bottom up without anytime to realize what's happening to you.

Bleaux Leaux said...

Hey, champion away! :) They just don't work for me. I have read where Adam Green has previously defended the accuracy of the wolves, and more power to him (there are gray wolves in NE, but they are extremely rare). And I get why they were there as a pot device. But there's a difference between saying "this could theoretically happen" and asking an audience to believe that a pack of them happened to be wandering through the area exactly when Dan broke his legs. In any event, I was less than impressed anyway up until that point, so maybe I'm being a tad picky.

At least they used real wolves instead of some crappy CGI effect.

Andre said...

A pot device!!?

And yes I remain behind their importance, but I understand your points as well. At least we know once they are already busy eating someone else, they will not attack you. Good to know!

Superheidi said...

You liked this movie more than I did. Perhaps the combined cynicism, fallen hopes and dreams, and especially ME, with Stacie Ponder do not create a 'favorable' environment in which to watch anything that isn't 100% perfect. Like Black Swan. Black Swaaann!

Andre said...

Ewwww you didn't like Black Swan? I quit!

Rabid Fox said...

Frozen turned out much better than I had originally thought it would be. I thought it dragged in the middle a bit with the two in the lift. The sound of bones breaking sent a shiver right up my spine. Blah!

Bleaux Leaux said...

LOL...yeah, a "pot device". The exact thing Joe wished he had on him when the lift got stuck.

Chris Hewson said...

I haven't seen the film so I don't know if it's explained, but is there a reason why this ski resort houses savage wolves? That's seems like something that the resort managers would make damn sure too keep off the grounds at all times.

Andre said...

Haha it's a valid point. But most ski resorts are just mountains with no boundaries I think. They also should only kill when they sense they are the stronger predator i.e. someone dying and bleeding. I don't think they would attack a whole mountain of skiiers. Also don't ask me why I know so much about wolves.

Alice said...

I watched this yesterday after putting it off for a while as I thought it seemed like it would be boring, what with being set on a ski lift. But I was surprised by how good it was, alhough the fact two of the characters were killed by the wolves seemed a little weak to me, surely they could have thought of something different? But the sense of hopelessness created was very powerful and I would reccomend it to friends