Travis Reviews Adam Green’s Frozen [Sundance 2010]

The horror/thriller/suspense/whatever genre tends to suffer from an inherent douchebaggery in its leads. When bad things happen to people with few redeeming qualities, we are sometimes hard-pressed to decide whether we are supposed to feel terror or satisfaction.

Adam Green’s Frozen is no different in this regard. Parker, Dan, and Lynch are three over-priviledged, overly-attractive college kids that make jokes about “retards” and treat “minimum-wage workers” as lower lifeforms put on this earth to serve them. One such lower lifeform is a ski lift operator, whom they bribe into letting them take one final lift before the resort prematurely closes due to an impending blizzard.  Miscommunications ensue, and out terrible threesome is trapped some fifty feet above the ground, presumably for five days and nights until the park opens again.

Frozen’s scenes of terror are precisely that — terrifying.  Aided by both a rather intuitive attention to sound editing and a not-too-entirely-unbelievable premise, it creates a frantic uncertainty in its first act, an unthinkable and macabre turn of events in its second, and a desperate, exhausting final fight for survival in its third.  Sure, it’s Open Water on a ski lift, but even Green recognizes this enough to make cheeky mention of shark attacks in his film.  Spice it up with a couple of songs by Helicopter Helicopter (an unsung but personal favorite of my indie rock early twenties), and Frozen gets my seal of approval.

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