Holy cow. Last weekend we had some friends over and had a nice, pre-Halloween horror movie marathon, and in a night filled with horror movies easily the most intense and stressful film we watched was Adam Green's Frozen. I mean, this freakin' flick was almost pure torture to watch (in a good way). The basic set-up is so simple and yet so effective, I have to call "Genius" on the whole damn thing.
Let me tell you about it.
I'd been aware of Frozen for sometime. My friend Louie had it as a staff pick at a previous gig and I'd maybe read a thing or two about it. Really, if you see the box for the DVD you get it right away - people stuck on a ski lift. It resonates because most folks in the modern world know what a ski lift is and can immediately picture (especially if you've ever ridden one) how vulnerable it feels to be on one to begin with, let alone be trapped on one in the winter. Still, at first I didn't quite jump at the idea of seeing it. The immediate association with Open Water is inevitable, and I don't want to say that at first Frozen just seemed like a weak modification of the theme, but I guess for me personally, I have a thing about water* and I knew I had to watch it. As for ski lifts, I have ridden once or twice, knew that vulnerable feeling, but I couldn't care less about skiing so...
Take all that back. Frozen is so effectively shot and paced it's just sick. Three college kids, the guy and his girlfriend and the guy's friend who resents the girlfriend for taking his friend away all bribe a lift operator to ride for less that the expensive lift ticket price. A storm rolls in, they convince the guy to let them go one last time and...
Pain the likes of which no one should have to endure. No one except maybe GWB and dick "you mean he wasn't a pheasant?" cheney
Frozen doesn't take quite the path I thought that it would and that also made it a fantastic watch for me. I don't want to say too much, but I dare you to stick through it without squirming in your seat or loudly exclaiming in disgust at least a dozen times.
I really dug the first Hatchet, haven't see the sequel (will now) but Adam Green is now a name on my list of "To Watch Immediately" directors. And although I don't add all that easily to that list, I do so LOVE it when someone new makes it on to it.
Adam Green - You rock sir!!!
* Specifically what might be underneath me looking up at me. That famous Jaws poster or one particular ep of the X-Files where Mulder and Scully walk through a foggy swamp at night and realize that what they are standing on is moving and alive were previously terrifying things to me. Open Water took that cake and ran waaaay the hell away with it.