Saturday, July 3, 2010


Chilling, intense and terrifying are some of the words I encountered when I read reviews on the movie, Frozen. Frozen is about a trio who are stranded on a chairlift at a ski resort. After the characters realise that they are trapped 50 feet in the air, with no obvious means of escape, they find that they have to make life or death decisions which prove to be more dangerous than just staying put and freezing to death. When I watched Frozen, I was reminded of features such as Open Water and Black Water which both focus on characters who are stranded at a remote location and have to make dangerous decisions in their fight for survival.

As always, in features such as these, we expect to see people dying in rather horrifying and tragic ways. Frozen was no different, but nothing prepared me for the shocking tragic outcome that befell these characters. It was a rather decent movie which managed to keep me on the edge of my seat and I have to admit that there were quite a few scenes which were cringe-worthy. The movie was rather short, with a runtime of 94 minutes, but I found that I really grew to like the three characters featured in the movie and I wanted badly for them to survive the terrible ordeal that they had to go through. I felt for them when they expressed sorrow and desperation and at their dire situation. There were certainly many heartbreaking and horrifying moments in Frozen and I came out from the cinema feeling rather depressed and somewhat mentally drained.

The movie begins with the three characters trying to get free tickets to go skiing. The characters are Dan Walker (Kevin Zeggers), his girlfriend, Parker O'Neil (Emma Bell) and Dan's best friend, Joe Lynch (Shawn Ashmore). After Parker manages to use her feminine wiles to get the free tickets, they end up spending most of their time on the bunny slope teaching Parker how to ski rather than doing any actual skiing as Parker is an amateur at skiing. The resentment felt by Joe towards Parker's presence is fairly obvious as the trio has an awkward conversation about Parker hindering them from their usual "guy time" together. It is then that Joe and Dan consider going back on the real slopes to do some last minute skiing before the resort closes. This is a really bad idea. What follows is horrifying, brutal and tragically devastating.

On their way to the ski slopes, the chairlift suddenly stops moving. Thinking that it is just a glitch, Dan starts a very ironic conversation about the worst ways one can die and mentions that the worst thing is knowing that death is staring at you right in the face and you know it's coming and there's nothing you can do to stop it. When the lights at the resort begin to disappear one by one, fear, sorrow and panic ensue. The characters have a tough time deciding what to do, when Dan comes up with the "brilliant" idea of jumping to the ground from the chairlift. Joe and Parker try their best to persuade him to stay, but he is defiant and insists that he can pull it off. Of course, to his detriment, his actions result in dire consequences as he breaks both his legs when he lands on the ground. To make matters worse, Dan's injury attracts a pack of wolves and Dan's worst fears of staring death in the face are realised in the first quarter of the movie.

Joe and Parker are left on the chairlift after the shocking and horrible death of a boyfriend and a beloved best friend. They start to blame each other for Dan's death, but after the blaming game, they come to terms with the situation and are made aware that they only have each other. The two form a bond as they talk about Dan with fondness. After some time, Joe decides to make an attempt to use the other chairlift to get to a pole where there is a ladder. After succeeding in his attempt to reach the ground, he manages to get hold of a ski pole in hopes of warding away the pack of wolves should they return. The last we see of Joe is in a scene of him running down the hill with two wolves chasing him.

Parker is left to fend for herself. Strong and determined to survive, she tries to find a way to get to the ground. Luckily for her, the chairlift comes loose and cushions her fall and she lands on the ground without any major injuries. She manages to slide down the mountain only to follow a trail of blood leading to none other than Joe's body (or what's left of his body). The wolves are happily enjoying their "meal" when one of them spots her and gets close to her. In a fortunate turn of events, the wolves decide to leave her and she manages to escape. She is then saved by a driver in a passing car.

My thoughts on Frozen...

I must say that Frozen left quite an impression on me. I really felt for Parker, Joe and Dan. It was heart-wrenching when Dan asked Joe to cover Parker's ears so as not to let her hear his screams of anguish as the wolves tore him apart. After the devastation and the horror of Dan's death, the two characters who obviously dislike each have to depend on each other for comfort, solace and survival. And after losing Joe, I was amazed at Parker's determination for survival. The performances of all the characters (well, all three of them) deserve a mention as they are the ones who made the movie what it is. As the plot of the movie is nothing new, the characters managed to breathe new life into a common plot and made it more than just a plain survival movie.

Unlike the other two movies mentioned earlier, I really cared for Dan, Joe and Parker and felt their pain and desperation at many points of the movie. I was filled with fear and anticipation for the characters through every step of their journey and I came out of the cinema with a horrible feeling having watched their tragic outcome from a merely innocent ski trip. I wouldn't write Frozen off as a masterpiece and it's safe to say that it will probably be forgotten soon. But I will always remember the impact the characters had on me and the sadness I felt when each of them did not make it. Most of all, I will remember Frozen as the movie where the major characters were actually eaten by wolves!!!!!!! I have never imagined that such a horrible thing was possible and that will certainly stay with me for a long, long time.

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