Sundance 2010: FROZEN Review

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Sundance 2010: FROZEN Review
[We ran an earlier and very positive review of Adam Green's Frozen here a while back.  It's a take on the film that I'm in pretty solid agreement with but we're an equal opportunity shop around here, so here's Ryland Aldrich with a dissenting view.]

What would you do if you were stuck on ski lift after dark with no hope of rescue for 5 days? Would you jump? What if there was a pack of wolves underneath you?  It is these tough questions that Adam Green explores in Frozen, programmed in the Park City at Midnight section with good reason.  While there are some great campy moments, they are unfortunately sandwiched between way too much mediocre dialog.  Frozen probably would have made a fantastic short - but it makes for a rather painful feature.

The day on the mountain begins for Dan (Kevin Zegers), Parker (Emma Bell), and Lynch (Shawn Ashmore) like most - by bribing their way into some lift passes (thus setting the karmic stage). Hitting the slopes is an experience usually only Dan and Lynch share, so Dan's decision to bring his girlfriend Parker creates a bit of tension. The biggest problem is that Parker is just a beginner and Lynch doesn't feel like he has gotten enough riding in. This prompts the gang to talk their way onto one last chair lift, dangerously close to closing time. Of course this ends in disaster and the gang is stranded with a storm moving in. Parker starts to develop frost bite and Dan decides he is going to jump. Bad idea as the impact shatters Dan's legs, leaving him a bloody pile in the snow. Lynch comes up with a new plan to go get help... that is until a very hungry pack of wolves arrive.

Frozen is at its best when it is not taking itself seriously. Scenes like the bones shooting up through Dan's legs are classic. Just the sheer amount of coincidences that have to take place to get the gang stranded show that we are fully encouraged to suspend disbelief.  The problem lies in everything that takes place when characters aren't breaking bones and peeling dead skin off their bodies.

The dialog is like Kevin Smith at his worst: awkward film references and long annoying conversations that only serve to take up time. The community theater actors just aren't skilled enough to pull this off (who is?). Cut this baby down to 25 minutes and you have one of the best genre shorts of the year. But at the full 93, you are better off staying out in the cold.

[Ryland Aldrich is a screenwriter and freelance writer based in Los Angeles.  He blogs at enderzero.net]
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More about Frozen

godonovanFebruary 4, 2010 8:00 PM

This still sounds like I might like it, nice capper, "better off staying the cold" BAZING!