Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Major love for Adam Green's FROZEN!!!

I’ve been rather lucky to have had the joy of seeing two absolute gems from Ariescope pictures as of late (the second of which, Grace, I shall post my babblings later on during the week).  And you know when you wait absolutely ages to see a movie, get really excited about it and then it’s shite, or at least shite by your god like expectation of what it should be!?!  Well, I’m happy to announce, these were both far from anything even remotely shite.  In fact, they are two of my favourite horrors that I’ve seen in a while.  The first of these movies is Frozen.  As the 3rd movie to come from the weird and wonderful mind of director Adam Green who has taken us from the swamp in New Orleans with Hatchet, to Spiral, his dark and twisted Psycho’esque thriller to this time, high up in the snowey ice cold mountains of a ski resort.  The premise of Frozen is incredibly simple, best friends Dan Walker, Joe Lynch, and Dan’s girlfriend Parker are on a snowboarding trip (or skiing for Lynch who doesn’t want to join the trend of snowboarding which made me giggle) and after a day on the slopes, convince the guy running the chairlift up the slope to let them have one last run.  He eventually agrees and the guys are off on their way up the slopes on the cable car.  When a problem arrives and the guy who has let them on their way has to leave another employee to turn off the chairs, with instructions not to turn the chairs off till the last 3 people come down, the replacement guy sees 3 guys reach the bottom of the slope, assumes that is that and switches off the chairs.  At first Dan, Lynch and Parker assume this is just a technical glitch as there had previously been one earlier on in the day, and that the chairs would restart at any moment however soon it becomes apparent that isn’t the case.

From the very start when the black screen appears with FROZEN in bold white letters, you know you’re in for something stark and unnerving.  And stark and unnerving is exactly what you get.  With a lack of blood, guts and gore, Frozen primarily relies on its 3 leads and the gorgeous yet harsh environment that surrounds them to build up the tension.  The 3 leads are absolutely superb with relative newcomer Emma Bell showing she’s just as good as the boys who include Kevin Zegers who I’d been a fan of ever since his appearance in The X Files season 3 episode ‘Revelations’ in 1995.   It’s been great watching him grow as quite the horror boy as well and both Zegers and real life friend Shawn Ashmore are superb in their roles as best friends, as one would expect.  I especially love Ashmore when he’s talking about how Dan and he have been friends since they were stupidly young and that Parker was the new girl in his life in comparisson.  The way that the character Lynch portrayed his feelings towards her was done with real heart, even if it was initital frustration at her being there.  And whilst I’m on the topic of great character writing, there is one moment when Parker is talking about how her dog will think she’s abandoned him when she doesn’t come home, its real heart wrenching stuff and I did have a tear in my eye.  I think that’s one of my worst fears, my dog thinking I’ve abandoned him, it’s horrible. 

The fourth character in the movie is definitely the landscape!!!  As beautiful as it is to view, it is equally treachourous in its beauty.  I am so happy that I managed to see this in the cinema as it’s a film that really should be seen on the big screen. (Film distributors please take note of that comment.  Stop realeasing shite remakes and general crap that give the horror industry a bad name and give movies like Frozen a chance.  I am sick and tired of having to defend an industry that I know has so much promise and in which there is some remarkable talent, to general movie viewers who just totally slate it!!!)  I was most unimpressed when I discovered that upon the date of release I couldn’t find a cinema that was showing it.  After hours of internet trawlage, I discovered that there was one cinema in the whole of Scotland with taste, The Cameo Playhouse in Edinburgh.  Now as cinema venues go, this was a superb place.  If you get the chance I thoroughly recommend it.  It’s a big old beautiful building filled with quirkiness everywhere you look.  And the seats are bloody comfortable!!!

So anyhoo, if the closest you are going to get to see this is on your nice big flat screen TV at home then that’ll have to do.  And you know something, as someone who generally hates Blu-ray and HD, Frozen is actually a movie I’d consider an exception. Frozen, in my humble opinion (oh the wise words of Angela Chase), is the kind of movie that was meant for high definition.  It’s that visually stunning. 

Now I don’t really want to say too much more about the film, I want you to enjoy it for yourself.  I will however point out the wonderful behind the scenes featurettes on the disc.  They had me just as hooked as the movie.  Behind the Mountain: Beating Frozen is easily one of my favourite movie featurettes since the Lord of the Rings Extended Edition features.  Major kudos goes out to Adam Barnick who joined the brave forces on the mountain to bring us four outstanding documentaries that kept me truly engrossed and also left me thankful for the cosiness my hot water bottle brought me as I was watching them.  Over the four featurettes I really gained a whole sense of family that this group of individuals have.  Despite some of the horrific conditions that they were filming in, I kind of wanted to be there and join in the snow shovelling and what not.  That’s testament to a good documentarian.  And a good film maker.

So yes, to sum it up, I love this whole DVD (or Blu-ray) package and would recommend it (and have being doing just that) to everyone, genre fans and all ye other peoples alike.  I am happy to be 100% TEAM GREEN!!!! <3  And big giggles to the cameo from the terrible twosome of director Adam Green and his man love Joe Lynch (director of the super awesome Wrong Turn 2 and partner in crime to Mr Green in a number of the fab Halloween Ariescope shorts)...made me laugh out loud and then have to explain why I was laughing at two random dudes on a ski lift.  :) 

Anyhoo, next keep your peepers peeped for my thoughts on Grace.  

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