MOVIE: Frozen (2010)

I had pretty low expectations for this film after reading a few reviews of it online that said it was essentially a bad rip-off of Open Water.  But since I haaaaated Open Water, I figured a bad rip-off of it might actually have some potential.  And, wonder of wonders, I ended up enjoying this one quite a bit.  (Of course, I was home sick at the time and my only other option for entertainment was endless reruns of Law & Order.  Compared to that, anything would’ve been a big improvement.  Your mileage may vary, of course. As always.)

The story is about three young college kids — a couple, Parker and Dan, and Dan’s best friend Joe — who have gone skiing for the day.  The plan was for Parker and Joe to bond at last, but as the day goes on, it becomes clear that Joe resents Parker for having stolen Dan from him, as well as for crashing their annual ski trip together.

Frustrated after having spent the whole day on the bunny slopes catering to Parker’s lack of experience on skis and snowboards, Joe pressures the group at the end of the day to try to take one more run together, this time down a real hill.  As they get to the chair-lift, though, the operator tells them a storm is coming and they’re clearing the hill — no more runs for the day.  Parker sweet talks him into letting them go up one more time, though, and they all climb aboard.

Halfway up the hill, the operator gets called inside to talk about his schedule, and his replacement, assuming the slopes have been emptied, turns the power off, shutting down the system.

At first, the three think it’s just a glitch.  Earlier in the day, the lift had stalled for a few tense minutes and then started back up again; surely this is just the same thing.  But then the lights at the lodge go off as well.  And the snow starts to swirl.  It soon becomes evident, much to their frozen horror, that they’re stuck.

As the flurries turn into a blizzard, the temperature drops dramatically and Parker begins to get frostbite on her cheek.  They all start to panic, and finally, Dan says what they’ve all been thinking:  they’re going to die if someone doesn’t try to jump and go for help.  The group argues about this plan briefly, but Dan refuses to listen.  A moment later, he pushes himself off the lift, crashes to the ground. . . and promptly shatters both his legs.

And then the wolves show up.  The hungry, hungry wolves.  Ruh-roh.

Now, sure, this movie IS essentially a rip-off of Open Water, that 2003 flick about two divers who get left behind by their boat and find themselves spending the night in an ocean full of sharks.  But, to be honest, the two characters in that film drove me bananas.  I felt nothing for either of them, buncha quitters, and was totally rooting for the sharks the entire time (plus, don’t get me started on the fact Open Water begins by telling us it’s a true story — nice trick when there weren’t any witnesses left at the end.  Annoying!).  The characters in Frozen, on the other hand, while certainly being a little on the whiny 20-something side, were somehow far more relatable.  They run through the same gamut of emotions — fear, panic, denial, resolve, depression, more panic, more resolve, more denial — but somehow they do it in a way that didn’t annoy me quite as much.

I also found the story pretty edge-of-my-seat overall.  I’m not likely to get left out at sea surrounded by sharks, but every time I’ve been on a chair-lift, I’ve thought for a moment about getting stuck up there.  No fan of heights, me.  (Or of skiing, for that matter.)  This was a fear I could completely relate to.  And I felt like their reactions to it, including their ideas on how to get out of the situation, were pretty spot-on.

Definitely worth a rental if you like these sorts of things.   I found this film satisfyingly gripping and entertaining.  Well worth the $3.99, so hop to it!

[Netflix it | Buy it | Rent/Stream at Amazon]

Genre:  Suspense, Action
Cast:  Emma Bell, Kevin Zegers, Shawn Ashmore, Kane Hodder

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20 Responses to “MOVIE: Frozen (2010)”

  1. Verna Says:

    I have been waiting for this movie. Looks good to me! Gald you liked it, I will definitely be getting it now!

  2. Liz Says:

    I didn’t HATE “Open Water,” but I didn’t LOVE it either, and I agree about how annoying the leads were (AND about your point about no witnesses to tell the “true story”). It’s not a bad premise for a film, and SOMEBODY was bound to make a “stranded in the air on a cable car” movie, so what’s the big deal? Both ideas are scary to me, although I hate skiing so much (for “hate,” read “scared of”) that I think I relate a LITTLE better to the “stranded in the water with sharks” scenario. It all really depends on if you care at all about the PEOPLE, and it sounds like this movie has slightly more sympathetic leads. Sounded pretty good to me!

  3. briantoohey Says:

    I saw this one in the theaters and liked it, gave it 7/10. People always complain about the characters in these kinds of movies being whiny or defeated, but to me, that’s pretty realistic. As is the flip side, when they get the courage to try something. The director has said that in test screenings everyone watching the movie all of a sudden becomes Spider-Man or Indiana Jones (“why didn’t they just do ‘this’?” or “I would have done ‘that,’ and it would have been over!”). Of course, the 300 lb. coach potato making these totally unrealistic claims would change his tune if he were placed in that situation for more than about a minute. And the kids in this movie do get some ideas, and do try them; and some of them are pretty good ideas and some not so much, and the way things play out (well, perhaps excepting the wolves) are probably pretty accurate. But they only have so many options, and the way they humanly err both in their actions and with their emotions makes this, in my opinion, by far the best movie Adam Green has ever made.

  4. megwood Says:

    I completely agree. EXCEPT in the case of Open Water where I would A) never have let go of my husband’s body, I don’t think. And B) would not have given up either.

    Frozen, though, seemed very much like what I would do. Liked it a lot!

  5. Allie Says:

    In Open Water, they figured out what happened when fishermen caught the shark tht ate their camera and they pieced the story together from the pictures. Pay attention.

  6. megwood Says:

    Oh, riiiiight. That’s plausible.

  7. austin Says:

    I thought it was ok but what they could of done differently was to jump into the trees that u seen around them. Because even though the branches would be slashing at u as long as u don’t hit a big thick branch u would have a bigger chance of living because of the resistance of the branches would slow u down. But I could be mistaking would like some one to conform this or prove me wrong

  8. Jax Says:

    Nope, they would’ve died or been horribly injured jumping into the trees.

    I mentioned to my husband that if the movie was to be realistic, all three would die. And that’s exactly what happened.

  9. christal ramos Says:

    I think they should have used a snowboard, skis or the ski pole to slide down the cables….or tied all the clothes together & let one down & then distribute to clothes back to each other to not freeze. But besides the point…is this a true story??? And if it is…is there any links to read about it please???

  10. misty.warden Says:

    How are they supposed to use the snowboard as a zip-line (what I’m assuming you mean by “slide down the cables”) when there are chairs every 20 feet or so and no way to slow down before you hit them? I’ve heard that argument before and just don’t understand it. Lynch barely had the upper body strength to overhand rope-walk to the next chair and holding onto a ski, which is probably not a good size or shape for any of their hands, would take even more than that.

  11. christal ramos Says:

    Well anything seemed more logical to try than to jump….just saying. What would you suggest they do?

  12. megwood Says:

    I suspect that had they worked harder on staying warmer, like cuddling more and going skin-to-skin with their coats looped around them, they could’ve survived the night, which is all they really needed to do. Ski places open early in the morning and it wasn’t THAT cold. People have survived worse.

    • christal ramos Says:

      The ski place was closed for the weekend, or week (one of the two) thats why they panicked more…or maybe it was a storm, I know that it wasn’t suppose to open for a few days, thats why they had to get out that night :(….& yeah, your right about sliding down the cables with something…like a shoe, or something that wouldn’t shred as bad, would have been smarter than jumping or using your hands on the cables.

  13. megwood Says:

    Also, sliding down the cables — with chairs every 20 feet, they wouldn’t be able to pick up too much speed, I’d wager. They could’ve banged into each chair, feet-first, stopped at that chair, climbed over, and done the next round. Doesn’t sound EASY, but it would’ve made for a good scene, I think!

  14. amtgreen Says:

    If only they would have planned their escape…I thought about this movie and to sum it up I made a very short 3d animation. If you saw Frozen, you might enjoy this one minute remake of it: http://bit.ly/zZsxlO (if you haven’t seen it, this might be a SPOILER for you)

  15. Anonymous Says:

    I never watched the movie “Frozen” and I don’t plan to

  16. steve Says:

    ya,if they used the snowboard upside down right,& held onto the straps that lock down your boots on the board…

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