Sunday, September 12, 2010

Frozen (2010)

At a glance:
Frozen takes a great, simple concept (three people stranded on a chair lift) and squanders it with bickering and plot contrivances

Our review (with spoilers):
There’s nothing like a pure concept movie. And here’s the concept: two bratty skiers and one nice girl bribe their way onto the chairlift rather than pay full price for lift tickets. With time and light running out, they negotiate one last lift ride. The ride operator is called away and forgets all about them, the power is shut off, and the ski resort is closed down on Sunday night, to re-open five days later – and the three people are stranded on the chairlift. That’s it.

Despite being stranded and facing death, these three still find the time to argue incessantly before doing dumb things. There’s the usual angst about the girlfriend ruining the lifelong friendship between two guys. The girl (Emma Bell), very sweet before she gets stranded, proves that she was well cast: her scared yelling voice is extremely annoying. Consequently, the guys urge her to stop yelling. Stop yelling? They are stranded on a chairlift! I’d say yelling is one of few decent options they have left!

The other option is to jump. The boyfriend does this, but does so in a way that his fall is not broken at all. The result? He breaks both his legs (with many shots of the bloody bone protruding from one of them), and is soon surrounded by a pack of wolves and eaten. Yes, wolves. This might be funny if the movie weren’t being irresponsible to propagate this gross demonization of wolves. Wolves have never attacked a human – except, of course, in silly movies.

The boyfriend’s friend and the girlfriend argue, then bond, but despite the cold, they do not huddle close together – and huddling is definitely a good option if stranded in cold weather. Instead, after surviving one night, the guy climbs along the cable, shredding his hands, but somehow, unbelievably, continuing anyway, reaches a pole, climbs down, and ski-boards down the hill, pursued by wolves. He is never seen again, so you can assume the worst.

The girl takes advantage of an unraveling cable to reach the ground. She is confronted by bloody-nosed wolves but they spare her. She crawls to the road and is rescued by a passing motorist. I kept thinking the motorist was going to be a serial killer, but he was just a nice guy driving her to the local hospital. The ending feels a little bit like the idea bin was empty, so time to end the movie.

The film is flawed in so many ways (there isn’t really enough there to fill 90 minutes) and could have been much better, but it’s still fun to watch.

Rating: 2 of 4

Other reviewers said:
"A stuck chairlift just doesn't exert the same primal terror as a roiling sea, and to make up the difference, Green would need a better cast and sharper dialogue than he has here."
- Cliff Doerksen (Chicago Reader)

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