Rated R for some disturbing images and language, 92 minutes
Simple but chilling "Frozen" will stick with you
The new horror thriller "Frozen" is efficient, simple and haunting. It's about three college kids who get stuck on a ski lift at night and must survive the nastier elements of nature. Harrowing, heartbreaking and suspenseful, it's a flawed overly familiar film that is really an icy version of "Open Water," minus the sharks.
Parker (Emma Bell), Dan (Kevin Zegers) and Joe (Shawn Ashmore) go on a weekend ski trip as a break from their classes. They don't have enough cash for the lift so they pay the operator a few bucks to let them take a ride up to spend a day of fun on the slopes. They convince the operator to let them take the last ride up, but a mix-up leaves them stuck alone on the side of the mountain at night, and the resort won't be open again until the following weekend. What follows is an intense, chilling tale of survival that leaves the three fighting for their lives.
"Frozen" is a simple but above-average horror thriller whose antagonist isn't a person, but nature itself. It's well-directed by horror film director Adam Green, who manages a few thrills on a low-budget and a largely unknown cast who seemingly braved the cold. Bell and Zegers are largely TV actors while Ashmore is the most familiar face, ironically enough he played Ice Man in the X-Men films, and all three, especially Bell, give believable performances that anchor the film well (they attempt small talk to keep their minds off what's happening to them).
The snow, the frostbite, the bloodthirsty wolves nearly get the best of the three, as they're stuck high above in frigid weather. Could this happen? Possibly. Would it? Probably not. There are a couple of things that simply don't ring true: the fact that none of the three - and all college students at that - do not have a cell phone between them is the hardest thing to believe. And then a huge resort such as this clears out in a matter of minutes with no one around to help is also a stretch.
But the film is hardly a waste. Those wolves are pretty nasty and provide the "Frozen's" more entertaining, taut scenes, as a couple of the students attempt to go for help, both with unfortunate results. The ending is more hopeful than you might think, and one of the three even survives, though I won't say who, you just have to see for yourself how they manage to do so.
"Frozen" is an above-average thriller with some nice chills, but it doesn't exactly make you want to go skiing anytime soon.