Starring: Kevin Zegers, Shawn Ashmore, Emma Bell
Directed By: Adam Green
Written By: Adam Green
Studio: Anchor Bay
Runtime: 1 hr 34 min
Release Date: 9/28/2010
Synopsis: (4.5 out of 5)
Video: (4 out of 5)
Audio: (4.5 out of 5)
Extras: (5 out of 5)
Overall: (4.5 out of 5)
"What could possibly be any worse than this?!!"
Two best friends, Joe (Ashmore) and Dan (Zegers), have made it a tradition every year to take a break from school and their hectic life and spend some bro time on the slopes. This year Dan has a girlfriend that has tagged along, which Joe is not happy about from the beginning. Joe makes it clear that this is their thing, and that sometimes Dan does not need to be connected at the hip with Parker (Bell) all the time. However, during this trip in particular, Parker comes in handy when it comes time to woo the lift operator. In years past it was a woman that the two guys would flirt with, and even offer a little bit of money, and they would be allowed to ride the lift. When Parker accomplishes her mission the three are on their way to shredding some fresh powder. Joe is quickly upset when the three have to stop every ten feet because Parker falls down. This trend continues till that evening when the three decide to do one last run, but not the easy slopes they had been doing all day, Joe wants to something real, something challenging. Little dothey know the chairlift ride up will be the most challenging event of their life.
When the chairlift reaches about half way up the mountain, it stops just as most lifts do throughout the day if someone were to fall getting on or off. Thinking that was the cause, the three think nothing of it, until their world becomes very dark when the lights go out. When one minute becomes twenty minutes they start to fear for their life. Looking around they realize they are the only three on the mountain and no one is aware that they are up there. Parker doesn't make things any better when she mentions that it is Sunday night and the resort doesn't open till that next Friday and sitting fifty plus feet in the air, their options are limited on what to do. After a short snow storm blows through, the cold starts to sink in, and the urgency to get help increases. Dan feels their only chance for survival is for one of them to jump and make their way down the slope to get help. Being the brave one, Dan decides this person should be him and he makes the leap only to break both legs in the process. Unfortunately for Dan, there is a pack of hungry wolves, and he fights with all his might for survival. Joe then decides that he is the next candidate to get help, but to him jumping is not an option. He decides to climb his way to one of the support towers which has a ladder on it to the ground. However, the cable supporting the lifts is razor sharp and almost immediately cuts through Joe's gloves.
A full day and a few attempts later Joe finally makes it to the ground. Frostbite is starting to settle in on Parker and slightly on Joe, and time is not on their side. As Joe reaches the ground he is attacked by a wolf, but is fortunately able to scare it off by using his ski pole that was thrown down by Parker. Joe refused to snowboard during any of his and Dan's trips. He enjoyed skiing and wanted nothing to do with snowboarding, but when his skis have been buried by the snow fall and a snowboard is his only option he starts his journey downhill riding the snowboard like a sled. Some time passes, Parker is still on the ski lift and there are no signs of Joe finding help. Frostbite has started to overtake more of her face, she figures that jumping is her best bet making it out. Jumping seems like an easy task when she realizes that her chair is only hanging by a thread, literally. After falling nearly halfway down in her chair, her only option is to jump. However after jumping the chair snaps away from the cable and lands on her ankle. Parker slides down the hill as it is her fastest way with her ankle being injured. Miraculously, she makes it down to the very bottom, where she lies down next to a street that curves around the mountain, hoping that someone will save her.
Rated R for disturbing images and language. There are a few bloody instances, for example, when Dan jumps from the lift and snaps both of his legs, the bones are exposed. Parker's hand becomes frozen to the safety bar and she literally has to rip it off. The wolves attack Dan and we catch glimpses of the blood. Language is fairly light for a rated R horror film. There are a handful of instances of the F word, and a handful of the others are present throughout.
Frozen was released in blu-ray, unfortunately none of the rental or retail locations in my area had it on blu-ray. However, the quality of the video on DVD was great. There was only a small portion of the movie that colors were present, and they looked great. The primary color scheme of the movie, because it was shot mostly at night, was black, whites and greens. This all helped in adding a spooky feel to the movie as it was primarily dark throughout.
Another great aspect about the video is that it was shot almost all on location. In the special features, Director Adam Green discusses his journey to find the perfect location for where they should shoot. This location was about half a mile up a mountain where the chairlift sat about fifty feet above the ground. This added very much a sense of realism to the film, and it's quite obvious that they shot on location rather than shooting green screen.
Because most of the movie takes place on a ski lift, the primary sound present throughout the movie is wind, snow, sleet, and screaming. As the wind howls and rocks the chair, and the sleet pelts the characters, you almost get the feeling that you are sitting in that chair as well, getting pelted by the snow and sleet. Frozen was quite possibly the most disturbing movie as far as the sound is concerned, that I have ever seen. As Dan is getting attacked by the wolves, Parker's crying and screaming is so intense and so real that you almost sense her pain that she is going through. Usually during movies you see disturbing images and they have that lasting affect even after the movie is over, but with Frozen those screams were playing over and over in my head.
Frozen has a great set of special features that take you behind the scenes, and an in depth look at how the movie was made.
Audio Commentary tracks:
1. Director Adam Green and Actors Shawn Ashmore, Kevin Zegers, and Emma Bell.
2. Director Adam Green, Cinematographer Will Barratt, and Editor Ed Marx.
Catching Frostbite: The Origins of 'Frozen' (1080p, 10:59) features Adam Green discussing what inspired him to write the script, followed by cast and crew discussing the basics of the story, the picture's scares, shooting in a real environment, and the process of translating Frozen from page to screen.
Three Below Zero (1080p, 10:50): A behind the scenes look at the cas and how some of their real life friendships helped their characters during the filming of.
Shooting Through It (1080p, 11:17): Cinematographer Will Barratt and Production Designer Bryan McBrien discuss their challenges to accomplish the shoot in the location they were in.
Beating the Mountain: Surviving 'Frozen' (1080p, 52:55): A look behind the scenes and how the cast and crew were able to survive the shoot of Frozen.
Deleted Scenes (480p, 6:27)
Frozen theatrical trailer (1080p, 1:51)
Chair 92 (1080p, 1:36) story of a suicide that occurred near the place of the shoot, found by scrolling past the main selection of extras and clicking on the "paw" icon.
Frozen was just the movie I have been waiting for! I enjoy thrillers and even scary movies, however in recent years it seems that "horror" means torture, and I'm not a fan of torture movies like Saw (after Saw 2), and the like. I enjoy scary movies that keep me on the edge of my seat and have me making fists as I have the outside view of things and their rash decisions have me so worried. For example, when Dan decides to jump, you know it's a stupid idea, but when he lets go, you hang on hoping he makes it. I also love a good scary movie that scares me during, but not after watching. Frozen might have me thinking twice as I'm on the ski lift, but I won't be having any nightmares as a result. It's more of a horror with scary instances.
Another great aspect about the movie was the directing style, and the work by the cast and crew to film on location. I'm sure it was awful during the shoot having to face all of those weather conditions, but it made the movie so realistic and believable that it captivates the audience. The directing style to film a lot of the movie practically in between the cast really puts the audience in the seat next to them, and almost makes you feel what they are feeling. When I rented the movie, the girl that checked the movie out told me that she watched it with her friends and they actually cried throughout the entire movie. I did not get how a horror could make you cry, but after watching it I do not believe they were crying because it was sad, but because Parker's emotions seem so real that you feel them inside yourself! I also very much enjoyed the special features. They were also beneficial to making the story more believable. A couple examples include the resort only being open on the weekend, and the cables supporting the chairs were razor sharp. The ski resorts I have been to are open week long, I was not aware there were weekend only resorts. I also thought that the cables were smooth, and when Dan decided to jump I thought it was stupid he didn't think to climb the cable first. However, the director mentions in the special features that they were shown an example of how sharp the cables are when a chain was dragged across it and the chain snapped.
I would definitely recommend this movie to especially anyone who has been on a chairlift. It's definitely a very life-like situation, and adds to the horror that much more. I would even say this is a movie worth buying. For a low budget film, I thought Frozen was directed perfectly, the audio was mixed well, and the story was fantastic. Unlike other movies that have one, two, or three people that the movie is centered around throughout the majority of the film, Frozen is a story that almost anyone can relate to, and even be a little scared watching it.