by Scott Knopf.

frozen poster CROP 772962

It’s hard to watch someone fight for something that you know is going to turn out badly. In Frozen, which hits theaters in February, three mid-twentians (handsome boy, hot girlfriend, and equally handsome best friend) bribe their way on a ski lift.

Before I get too far, there’s something I have to ask you, readers. Does it cost $250 dollars to ride a ski lift? That’s what they pay. Even split three ways, that’s far more than I’d ever pay to fall down a mountain. So either skiing prices have gone up since my last time on the slopes (which was never) or this was some special mountain that was actually covered with pure, Columbian nosecandy. Either way, they overpaid.

Back to my original point. Watching someone push, shove, sneak, overpay, or flirt their way into danger is borderline infuriating. That’s exactly what happens to these three. For those who haven’t seen the trailer, heard about the plot from a friend, or couldn’t picture what could possibly go wrong on a ski lift, they get stuck. For a week.

Minimalist thrillers like Open Water, The Blair Witch Project, and Open Water 2: Adrift have gained enough popularity over the last few years to pave the way for flicks like Frozen. This second generation (see also: Buried) have larger budgets, bigger stars, and in this film’s case, more gruesome deaths. What’s great about these lost/stuck thrillers is how their premises alone automatically get you thinking of how you’d get out were you to find yourself in that situation. And you speak with such confidence! I’d tie my clothes together and make a rope. I’d repel across the wire. I’d just jump. But don’t think for a minute that the filmmakers didn’t think of all of these options before principle photography began. That wire is sharp! That ski lift is high! They cover them all. And did I mention that there are wolves? Mean ones!

Being stuck on a ski lift in the middle of winter with no one coming to save you is a terrifying concept by itself. The wolves aren’t necessary and in Frozen they distract from just how messed up the situation is. If you jump down, the wolves will eat you. At least it’s quick. But what about jumping down, hurting yourself, and then dying slowly in the snow? That’s messed up.

Overall, the film serves its purpose. You won’t ever look at ski lifts in the same way. The dialogue is just as sloppy, clichéd, and poorly delivered as you’d expect it to be but the frostbite scenes are even grosser than you imagined. You know why you want to see Frozen. So go see Frozen.

Directed by: Adam Green
Written by: Adam Green
Starring: Shawn Ashmore, Emma Bell, and Kevin Zegers.
U.S.A., 93 min.

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