Thursday, December 17, 2009

BNAT 11 - [PREMIERE] Frozen

At past the halfway mark, it was getting to the hour where horror tends to dominate, and after trailers for The Ski Bum and Hot Dog (the movie), we saw this great little horror film, a selection at next year's Sundance Film Festival, from the guy who made Hatchet (Adam Green).


This movie is about three young people - a guy, his girlfriend, and his best friend - who go for a short ski trip. They spend most of the day on the bunny slopes, because the girlfriend is not an experienced skier, and the guys decide to go up again that evening by themselves to do some real skiing. After some arguments and hurt feelings, however, the girlfriend ends up going with them, and they get stuck on the chair lift while the place shuts down for the week.

Okay, so let's get the implausibilities out of the way, because they are many and pretty egregious. These kids must have driven a car to this place. Someone would have asked whose car it was and realized that someone could still be on the mountains, possibly even trying to get a free night's stay or extra skiing they didn't pay for. Second, no skiing establishment is that lackadaisical about people being on the chair lift or on the mountain. You wouldn't be able to bamboozle someone into letting you on the chair lift without paying, and you certainly wouldn't have one solitary chair lift operator be the final word in whether everyone was down from the lift and the mountain. There are way too many precautions in place at ski resorts for what happens in this movie to happen. Third, wolves don't hang out where there are loads of people skiing. The Minnesota BNAT-ers had huge problems with this movie.

HOWEVER. Forget about all that for a minute. What if you did get stuck on a chair lift and there was no way down and no one would find you for several days? If you take it from there, this is a pretty fantastic scary movie about the series of bad decisions you might make in the huge effort to get out alive.

The first huge mistake is made when the guy who brought his girlfriend decides to try and jump down, however much it might injure him. Well, it injures him a hell of a lot. Both his legs snap (there were some excellent sound effects in this film, by the way), and when he tries to move himself, he just injures himself exponentially more and more. A wolf finds him and eventually leaves after a stare-down, but this is not victory for our poor broken-legged hero. Oh no. The wolf went and got a few friends and they proceed to eat him while his girlfriend and best friend can only listen to his screams and do their best not to watch from above. This was fairly moving to me, actually, as the guy screams to his best friend not to dare let the girlfriend look. There was some pretty great acting in this, I have to say.

The rest of the movie alternates between the girlfriend and best friend blaming each other, consoling each other, and making fresh attempts to get out of this situation. Strangely, they make little attempt to huddle together and actually keep each other warm, which might have been helpful. And I can't figure out why the girl, after losing one of her gloves, didn't pull her coat sleeve over her bare hand. That would have saved a lot of pain, especially when she wakes up with her bare hand frozen to the safety bar.

The movie manages to be very effective, though, despite it's implausibility issues, and was one of the better examples of audience reaction of the evening. And I can't leave this film without telling you this - a woman in the audience actually FAINTED during this movie (she was alright, by the way, just overcome by the movie, it seems). They should so put that in the film's marketing campaign, like Last House on the Left (To avoid fainting, keep repeating "It's only a movie ... only a movie ... only a movie...").

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