First of all, there will be no spoiler alerts on any of my reviews. Ever since high school, when all I heard after Seven came out, before I could see it, was "Her head was in the box!" (I think/hope I'm safe with that one). Anyway, I hate when that shit is done to me, so I'm not going to do it to you guys. With that, this is my review of Adam Green's Frozen.
What would you do if you got stuck on a ski-lift overnight? That is the terrifying and unique concept viewers are forced to contemplate while watching this thrilling gem of a movie. I say that because I personally loved everything about this film. The scenery was beautiful, the performances were stellar, and the tension was palpable. Three friends, played by Kevin Zegers, Emma Bell, and Shawn Ashmore, persuade a gullible ski-lift operator to let them make one last run at closing time. But when a scheduling mishap and a miscommunication result in the park being closed for the weekend with them stuck halfway up the mountain, the fear and panic begin.
At first they tell jokes to lighten the mood, and try to convince each other that its just a mistake and that the people who own the park would never let something like this happen. Then the lights go out. As the snow and hail start to fall, the dread rises as their ordeal is suddenly made very, very real. Add in hungry wolves, frostbite, a rescue attempt that some might call heroic and brave and some might call just plain stupid, and the inevitable question of what YOU would do in this horrible situation, and you have one hell of a psychological survival thriller.
While there is plenty of action to entertain the viewer, the heart of the movie lies in the chemistry and dynamism of Parker and Lynch (Bell and Ashmore). Their emotions run the gamut throughout the movie, and by the end it's not hard to believe that, as actors, they were not only exhausted physically but mentally as well. At the start of the film, they somewhat tolerate each other. As circumstances unfold, they commiserate with each other over their dire situation. Lynch maintains a sense of hope by thinking about calling a girl whose number he got earlier that day and falling in love, while Parker lets despair consume her by lamenting the fact that no one will be there to feed her dog and subsequently the dog will think she was abandoned. These normally mundane things are given a greater sense of purpose for these two characters who don't know if they will survive. And again, it forces us as the viewers to put ourselves in their shoes and wonder what kinds of things we would be thinking or worrying about if it was us. They share this vulnerability, as well as sorrow and blame for an event earlier in the film, and it brings them closer. Emma Bell in particular is inspired. The scene where she cannot hold her bladder anymore is heartbreaking. And when she is clawing her way through the snow, the look on her face is one of fierce determination that makes you root for her.
All in all, Frozen is an excercise in pulse-pounding excitement that does for ski-lifts what Jaws did for the ocean and what Psycho did for showers. Watch it with the volume up and the lights off and I guarantee you will feel the chill. I did.