Combustible Celluloid
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With: Emma Bell, Shawn Ashmore, Kevin Zegers, Ed Ackerman, Rileah Vanderbilt, Kane Hodder, Adam Johnson, Chris York
Written by: Adam Green
Directed by: Adam Green
MPAA Rating: R for some disturbing images and language
Running Time: 93
Date: 01/24/2010

Frozen (2010)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

A Time to Chill

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Director Adam Green broke into the horror genre with the comic slasher film Hatchet, which was made with just the right attitude, and it's a good deal of fun. His follow-up Frozen is more serious and not as much fun.

College student Dan (Kevin Zegers), his best friend Joe (Shawn Ashmore), and his girlfriend Parker (Emma Bell) go for a weekend ski trip. Since Parker is a beginner, they spend most of the day on the bunny hills. As night -- and a storm -- approach, they decide for one last big run. Unfortunately, due to a series of misunderstandings, and the fact that they bribed their way onto the lift rather than buying tickets, they are left stranded halfway up the mountain as the resort closes down for the week. The lift is terribly high, and it's terribly cold. The cable is razor-sharp, and there are wolves in the woods. How will the trio get out of this chilling situation?

The suspense is definitely there, and it can be excruciating. But it's almost an empty exercise, as there's not much meat to the film itself. For one thing, the characters never seem very smart, and they remain almost constantly two jumps behind the audience. (Some of the situations they get themselves into can be irritating.) Additionally, the idea of a stuck lift chair isn't very visually dynamic. So Green relies on a lot of sitting-and-talking sequences to break up the suspense, and while these are sometimes pleasant, they're not exactly Shakespeare. In other words, the movie has a good flow, and it understands how to generate thrills, but the characters, situation and dialogue are stretched a bit thin.

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