Saturday, October 5, 2013

Day 5: Frozen (2010)

A Month of Horror

Like the genre we are here to celebrate, a sequel is always around the corner.  Horror Movies are full of sequels - from the established classics of the '80s, to today's annual cash-grab installments of the cheap and easy series.  Due to the popularity of last year's Horror Movie-A-Day, I have decided to present 31 all new (or old) horror movies for your enjoyment...

October 5: Frozen (2010)

Adam Green burst onto the horror scene with Hatchet, a throwback to eighties slasher films like Halloween, Friday the 13th, and the texas Chainsaw Massacre staples.  While the Hatchet series is an often over-the-top gore fest (featuring many acting staples from the movies it is paying tribute to), Frozen is a very different film.

One of humanity's biggest fears is isolation and what better way to reinforce that isolation than by setting almost an entire movie on a ski hill at night.  Better still, take it one step further by isolating what essentially amounts to a cast of three in a chair lift high above the slopes long after the ski hill has closed for the weekend.

Shawn Ashmore, Emma Bell, and Kevin Zegers play three college students who weasel their way onto the hill for one last ride.  Things quickly slip out of control and the three are left stranded high above the ground in increasingly degrading conditions.

While not a horror movie in the classic sense, Frozen does a great job of building tension and creating a palpable sense of dread as the three friends first have to deal with their personal issues, and then have to face the fact that their survival will likely depend on extreme measures being taken.

There are three classic paradigms of struggle in literature: man versus man, man versus nature, and man versus self.  This movie contains all three in varying degrees, part has a particular focus on man versus nature and man versus self.

The small contained set, and reliance on just three actors to carry the bulk of the running time makes this a unique and captivating study of how far we might be willing to go to survive the harshest of conditions.

While Hatchet was a fun romp through the gory tropes of the slasher genre, Frozen is a much smaller, yet equally intense study in horror.  With both, it is our underlying will to survive that propels the characters forward, but somehow, the more realistic and grounded approach to Frozen makes for a much more harrowing experience.

Tomorrow, it's sequel time in the season of the witch...

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