Photo - Courtesy of Anchor Bay Entertainment
Writer/Dir: Adam Green (Hatchet)
Cast: Emma Bell, Kevin Zegers, Shawn Ashmore
Reason to see: Totally has that simple-idea-that-could-make-an-amazing-horror-film vibe
Now every once in a while a film comes out and it not only meets but actually exceeds expectations. Frozen is an exceeds expectations film. I knew that I would be seeing it from just moment into watching the trailer, in fact I didn't even watch the whole trailer because I was sold in just seconds (and I wouldn't recommend watching all of it if you are interested in the film). The promising and horrifying premise of friends stuck on a ski lift was more than enough to get me interested.
The brilliance of the film is, it doesn't rely on just being a good premise to be a good film. It builds on that with a great script that builds up the heart of the film: the characters. There are lots of horror films out there where you really are meant to not care or even like the characters. Not here. I felt like I knew exactly who Parker (Emma Bell), Dan (Kevin Zegers) and Lynch (Shawn Ashmore) were and you better believe that I cared about them. The characters are a completely believable trio and everyone performance was great, although I was particularly impressed with Shawn Ashmore (Bobby/Iceman from the X-Men films).
The horror elements of the film are pitch perfect. The pacing is perfect, the tension builds subtly and it has a great balance of keeping you guessing on some things and leading up to others. It goes without saying that it's a film that you really don't want to know too much about, so I'm certainly not going to spoil the fun. It really hits all the marks of a great horror film and it was great to see it originally at the theatre with an audience that gasping and cringing at all the right moments and I've been aching for it to come out on DVD to not only see it again but share the experience with others. It is definitely a film that benefits from watching with others as you can cringing, gasp and even giggle together along the way. Originally I called it a truly awesome horror film, and it is, but after seeing it a few times now I think the love of the film can be enjoyed and celebrated beyond just horror fans. I'm going to branch that out and say that if you like film at all, see Frozen. You won't regret it.
I'm really impressed with the DVD extras here. They extensive and insightful, and there is also almost zero overlap of information throughout the featurettes - which is impressive given the fact that there are 4 featurettes which running time is almost as long as the film itself! That's a rare treat.
- Audio commentary with writer/director Adam Green and actors Shawn Ashmore, Kevin Zegers & Emma Bell. Great commentary that has a nice group of friends casual vibe to it with lots of funny stories, great insights into the characters along with some technical notations on how specifics things were done in the film which are gone into further detail in the featurette. Two sidenotes on the commentary are that Emma Bell comes in at 25 minutes in, plus several references to another more technical commentary which is only on the BluRay version.
- Deleted Scenes (3 scenes, 6 minutes) with optional audio commentary by writer/director Adam Green. I watched them first on their own, and then re-watched with the commentary and I think that's really the way to go as you the commentaries explain more about each scene including why it wasn't included in the film.
- Catching Frostbite: The Origins of Frozen (10 minutes) great featurette that tells the story of how the idea for the film came to be from inspiration to process to the team coming together. Features interview with writer/director Adam Green, first assistant director Craig Borden, co-producer/second unit director Jason Miller, co-producer Cory Neal, director of photography Will Barratt and producers Peter Block & Tim Williams.
- Three Below Zero (10 minutes) fascinating featurette focusing on the trio of characters in the film their dynamics, relationships, journeys and likability. Features flip clips, stills and interviews with writer/director Adam Green, actors Shawn Ashmore (Lynch), Emma Bell (Parker) and Kevin Zegers (Dan) and producers Peter Block & Tim Williams.
- Shooting Through It (11 minutes) featurette focusing on the logistics & production side of the film in terms of films vision and challenges of shooting on location. Includes behinds the scenes footage and interviews with writer/director Adam Green, production designer Brian McBrian and director of photography Will Barratt.
- Beating the Mountain: Surviving Frozen (52 minutes) very extensive featurette with a vast amount of behind the scenes footage including multiple takes of particular shoots, interviews with cast & crew. It goes through everything from what the cast & crew had to go through during the crazy weather during the shoot, technical elements of the logistics of how they particular shots, stunts, literally everything you could want to know about the film is here. What they did was absolutely amazing, I honestly didn't know that every single outside shot was actually done outside. Wow. Interviews include writer/director Adam Green, first assistant director Craig Borden, co-producer/second unit director Jason Miller, co-producer Cory Neal, director of photography Will Barratt and producers Peter Block & Tim Williams, stunt co-ordinator Kane Hodder, production designer Brian McBrian, first assistant camera David "D.R." Rhineer, Sled Reynolds and actors Shawn Ashmore (Lynch), Emma Bell (Parker) and Kevin Zegers (Dan) and more.
Shannon's Overall View:
I loved it
I'll buy it
I highly recommend it
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© Shannon Ridler, 2010
Originally reviewed during Theatrical Release - February 8, 2010
Emma Bell, Kevin Zegers and Shawn Ashmore in Frozen. Photo - Courtesy of Anchor Bay Entertainment