It is now officially the month of Halloween, and to start the season of horror off correctly, I recommend you check out Frozen, which doesn’t feature a deformed immortal axe-murderer stalking witless sex-starved teenagers.  Writer/Director Adam Green, whose former credits include the indie-slasher Hatchet turns to smart horror for a change, and in his attempt at taking a simple “what if” concept, he constructs a tightly-wound thriller that had me in its grip from beginning to end.

I wish to apologize to those who may be offended by referring to Frozen as smart horror, but the slasher genre has been done to death and beyond the grave.  When a horror-filmmaker turns to realistic terror, where the premise relies on a believable and fresh scenario, and a viewer can’t help but be caught up in the characters’ reality-based dilemma, that’s where horror really works—and perhaps more importantly—stands out.

Frozen finds three friends at ski resort on a Sunday afternoon.  Two of them are boyfriend, Dan (Kevin Zegers) and girlfriend, Parker (Emma Bell).  The third wheel of the group is Lynch (Shawn Ashmore), the best friend of Dan.  By the end of the night, a storm front is upon the resort, and the group decide to take the ski lift to the bottom of the mountain only to find out it has been closed, and so they convince the lift operator to allow them down before calling it a  night.  Reluctantly, he agrees and the three friends board the chair and start their descent.  When the operator is called away, his replacement is unaware that three people are still in transport, and he shuts down for the night leaving the protagonists trapped 50 feet above ground.  With the park closed until the following Friday, the youngsters remain trapped and soon realize they will not survive the week, which begs the question: “What do you do?”

What follows becomes increasingly terrifying as each of the three friends tries to figure a way out of their situation.  Green manages to keep the story focused and in-the-moment.  Because of that constant focus, I was completely engulfed and left clutching my fingers together in suspense and shock as the predicament continues on a never-ending spiral of bad to worse.  Green accomplishes this without relying on excessive gratuitous gore (although there is some), and utilizes a real set in a real environment.  That certainly adds to the believability of it all.  The actors all deliver solid performances as well, and I stayed with them throughout.  Made on a low budget and barely earning a theatrical release, horror fans owe it to themselves to check out a plausible and original premise within the genre, and one of the best horror offerings I have seen in quite some time.  It is an emotionally-wringing, psychologically-exhausting experience.  Count me freaked out.

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Have you seen this movie? Rate it!
Rating: 3.0/5 (1 vote cast)
Frozen, 3.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating 4 COMMENTS


  1. I have never head of this movie before, but it sounds great! I just put it on my Netflix queue and hopefully in the next week or two I can check it out. It’s good to see a movie being called “smart horror,” as the recent trend in horror movies has been to just throw ever-increasing buckets of gore at the audience (sometimes literally in 3-D) and call it “horror.” But a true horror movie should be scary and suspenseful even without the gore, and Frozen sounds like it does that very well.

  2. Dude, I want to see this!

  3. Just watched it last night and was pretty impressed. Often when I watch horror movies I get easily detached from them when they start trotting out a lot of gory scenes or implausible paranormal happenings. It becomes silly at those points, but Frozen really gripped me. I liked the simple premise which boiled the movie down to a very basic idea and kept its focus the entire time. No best friend back at base camp frantically trying to reach the lost skiers, no ghosts or spooky legends of mysterious activity at the resort, and no relying on the old trope of one of the individuals going insane. The decisions they made were logical (or seemed logical at the time) and their dialog was authentic. Not that the movie is perfect (what happens to each of the two guys is a bit far-fetched, and some of the acting was a little cheesy) but it’s a fresh departure from CGI-saturated fright-fests that seem to dominate theaters now.

  4. After your glowing review, I was a little disappointed. The acting wasn’t that good, although with young actors trying to recreate that type of situation, it’s probably to be expected. It also didn’t make any sense to me that the FIRST thing they try is jumping. Why didn’t they try climbing the cables first? They were only about 100 feet from a ladder.

    I guess it was still an interesting movie though, and I have to hand it to them for trying hard with a fresh idea. But why does the chick always get to survive? Doesn’t seem fair. Especially when she’s the one that didn’t do anything but complain the whole movie.

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