DVD REVIEW: Frozen
Adam Green's latest delivers horror that'll make you shiver...
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Most people probably don't recognize writer/director/producer Adam Green's name yet...though they probably know his work. The director, writer, and producer of some of the most frightening, intense and down-right scary horror films to hit theaters and home video - including Hatchet and Grace, it won't be long before everyone knows not only his work, but his name too should he keep making amazing films.
Green burst onto the horror film scene in 2006 with his "old school American horror" film Hatchet and has gone on to write, produce and direct a number of other intense and exciting titles, including the recently released and unrated Hatchet II.
For fans of intense thrillers, Green is a bit of a genius...and he only adds to the belief with the release of Frozen, available now on home video. While it may not feature the scream queens you're used to seeing, fancy CGI effects, or a fiendish monster or axe-murderer, Frozen features one of the most startling and truly frightening plot lines ever conceived.
Frozen is, at its heart, a survival horror story. Three friends, away for the weekend on a ski trip, try to get in one last run before Sunday's sunlight is gone. While on the ski lift (and due to some simple human mistakes), the trio get stranded on the lift halfway up the mountain. With the resort shut down for the week, temperatures dropping, and a pack of hungry wolves 50 feet below, this psychological roller coaster sets off at a furious pace that'll have viewers questioning the nature of friendship and what they would do were they in the same situation.
Written and directed by Green, this is a much more personal, mature and intense thriller than Hatchet. While this film's style is completely different than the slasher film Green has become known for, Frozen - like Hatchet - pulls no punches and constantly injects the audience with adrenaline, forcing that fight or flight feeling into each and every mind viewing.
The film's believability depends on the three main actors - Shawn Ashmore, Kevin Zegers and Emma Bell - who all deliver truly shocking performances which makes the film what it is. The trio of friends, through no fault of their own, are forced to confront one of the worst scenarios possible and, while it seems almost unlikely, documented cases of such events have been recorded. A full gambit of emotions are on display in Frozen - angst, fear, dread, anxiety, love, hate and betrayl - it's all here for us to witness, judge and ultimately debate over. Would I do that? Could I do that? What would I do? What would you do? All of these and more are questions you'll ask while you try to digest Frozen.
The DVD release features a solid Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound track and the picture is decent (though still standard definition). If you own a Blu-ray, I would highly recommend the hi-def version of this film (even though I personally haven't seen it).
As for special features, there is an interesting audio commentary with Green as well as the three main actors throughout the film. Each commenting on the plot and character development, production of the film, and more. Likewise, four featurettes are also included: "Catching Frostbite: The Origins of Frozen," which documents the development of the story and how Green and friends came up with the plot and screenplay; "Three Below Zero," "Shooting Through It," and "Beating the Mountain: Surviving Frozen" each expand on the production of the film, what went into filming on location, finding suitable filming locations, the freezing weather and cold that the crew and actors truly had to battle, what went into choosing the cast, and even a short section about filming with wolves.
I personally can't recommend Frozen enough. If you're a fan of psychological horror, survival horror, or just plain intense thrillers, you'll love Frozen. Likewise, thanks to a solid amount of behind-the-scenes featurettes, the DVD should satisfy your cravings with plenty to spare...
Frozen, rated R for some disturbing images and language, is available wherever fine home video is sold.
- Jess C. Horsley