Archive for Shawn Ashmore

Off-Season Reviews: Frozen (2010)

Posted in January, Off-Season Reviews with tags , , , , , , , on January 28, 2012 by shenanitim

Frozen. It’s really hard for me to describe how excited I was to see this movie, but I’ll try anyway. First, the enigmatic title, which could stand as for a precursor for anything (just hopefully not a remake of Frozen Alive), or nothing. Just aiding the atmosphere. Next came the description, one which describes three friends getting stranded on a ski lift, hanging over a mountain, all night long; while a pack of wolves watches below.

A (spiritual) sequel to Alive, if you will, only with less cannibalism and more awesome wolf attacks!

Sadly, the wolves wait for the people to hit the ground.

Just that mental image alone made me need to see this. The idea of watching three people argue for 90 minutes while their ski lift chair swings back and forth while wolves attack! Christ, my mind can’t even think of a logical explanation on how the wolves would reach them. Which is why I’m not a script writer, or, in any way shape or form, a part of the movie making process. The where‘s and how‘s is director Adam Green’s problem, the why having already been answered by me at the beginning of this paragraph.

“Cigarettes are just gross. Especially in the cold; they just stick to you like an ashtray and an old man’s used floss.” -Joe.

Ten minutes into the film and the three kids: Joe (Shawn Ashmore), Dan (Kevin Zegers), and Parker (Emma Bell) are debating the merits of pot smoke vs cigarette smoke. This is exactly the type of dumb shit my friends and I would half-heartedly debate in a similar situation. (As neither I or my friend smoke anything.)

My new goal is now to remake this film at Busch Gardens; with our awesome protagonists trapped above the dolphin tank. Or aboard the Phoenix for a possibly vomit-inducing length of time. Look for it in 2031!

“I think burning would be a worse way to go…” – Parker

Now they’re debating the worst way to die! I can’t even pretend that this would be something I’d argue with my friends anymore, because this is something I actually have done!

It’s as if Adam Green made this movie solely for me…

Even better, the characters actually do get trapped on the ski lift! The wolves not making their appearance until Dan decides he’ll jump down to get help. A jump that obviously leads to two broken, bloody legs. This movie’s slowly turning into some perverse sort of Christmas/wintertime “torture porn.”

Parker is slowly developing frost bite over her face, Dan breaks both his legs before being eaten alive by a pack of wolves, and Joe slices his gloves to shreds trying to climb across the ski lift’s cables.

[In best preview guy voice]: Imagine the worst things that can happen at a ski lodge… Now watch them all unfold at ONCE!!!…

One of the nice things about this film is its minimalism. Three characters, one situation, and an oppressively limited number of options. Much of the fun to be had here is droning out their inane “we’re all about to die, so let’s talk about how guilty we feel for abandoning out pets” with your own “how the hell are they gonna end this movie!?!” questions.

There’s two obvious choices. The first, and most obvious, yet least likely, one is everyone dies. But I’m having doubts that anyone would be willing to bankroll a movie with an ending so dark that it’ll never make money.

The other option, the one with them surviving, doesn’t seem any better. We’re told the ski lodge is only open on the weekends, and it’s Sunday night. So anyone coming back to find them would be an inexcusable aberration. Plus the lift, at least, was being run by less than scrupulous people, so one imagines the lodge that hired them wouldn’t be much better.

Frozen ultimately splits the difference between the two; landing in some strange middle ground. Leaving almost no closure at the end; concluding on an obvious (original) Texas Chainsaw Massacre-inspired note. (Kane Hodder, who’s played Leatherface before, makes a cameo.) It worked in …Massacre because that had been so chaotic and brutal that after 90 minutes any respite felt golden.

Here, however, with just one set, and a lot of dialogue, buoying the proceedings, you’re left feeling cheated. As if they couldn’t think up a workable ending, so they didn’t try.