Don't you hate it when you go skiing with your friends and you accidentally get stuck on a ski lift high in the air and the resort shuts down for the week and no one knows you're there and you have to figure out if you should stay put and freeze to death or attempt to jump down to the ground and risk breaking your legs and getting eaten by a pack of wolves? Yeah. I hate when that happens.
Writer/director Adam Green's nifty and nasty little thriller, Frozen (2010), which premiered at the weather-appropriate Sundance Film Festival, takes place mostly on a chairlift in the dead of winter. This movie, of course, should not be mistaken for the 2013 Disney animated fairy tale with the same name, because the kind of horror the characters face in this film would freak kids the f*ck out.
Through a set of unfortunate circumstances, the three appealing lead characters—with an instantly recognizable relationship dynamic (a couple and the third-wheel best friend)—become trapped high above ground and have to figure out how to get out of their predicament. I don't want to give away too much, but I should mention that, although there's nothing supernatural involved here, the movie is unexpectedly gruesome. I had to look away multiple times, groaned in disgust, and contorted in my chair from tension.
The characters—portrayed by the beautiful Kevin Zegers (remember the super hot son in Transamerica ?), Emma Bell, and Shawn Ashmore (you know, Ice Man!)—are a scooch more interesting than the ones in Open Water (2003), which shares Frozen's premise somewhat. (Open Water is about a couple stuck in a shark-infested ocean.) And the pacing in Frozen moves along at a clip much faster than Paranormal Activity (2007), which shares Frozen's sense of claustrophobic terror. (Read my review of Paranormal Activity here.)
I like Frozen more, as evidenced by how many times in the theater that I actually uttered things like, "Jesus Christ!"; "oh my God!"; and "heeeeel nah!"
Adam Green, I don't know who you are and I'm too lazy to look you up (it's late, and there's sorbet in the freezer), but I salute you. And if I ever bump into you, I will say, "Heeeel nah!" You know why? Because of that one scene. You know the scene. The scene where I was all like, "Stop showing that thing! For the love of all that is holy, stop showing that thing!"
I finally just got around to looking up what writer/director Adam Green is up to, and one notable project of his is called Adam Green's Scary Sleepover. It's a web series in which Green has one-on-one horror-themed slumber parties with celebrity guests. Each episode is about 10 minutes long. This one features Emma Bell, who worked with Green on Frozen:
By the way, I was just thinking, in a perfect world Frozen would've had a big enough budget to afford to license Madonna's song, "Frozen," to play during the more horrific scenes. You know, crazy-ass juxtaposition! Oh, yeah, laugh at me, whatever, but I don't think it's a stretch. The music video for the song is dark, and it's helmed by Chris Cunningham, whose works of art show up in exhibits called "Apocalypse: Beauty and Horror in Contemporary Art." See?!: