Friday, August 17, 2012

Jason reviews Cold Prey

This is a movie I took in long before The Basement became a reality. I don't remember being overly impressed, yet Cold Prey has never really left my mind. That can only mean it's time for a re-watch. But how does the film stack up?

Jannicke, Morten Tobias, Eirik, Mikael and Ingunn are on a snowboarding vacation in Jotunheimen. They are forced to take shelter in an abandoned hotel when Morten Tobias breaks his leg and their car is too far away for them to reach within nightfall. They quickly discover that the hotel was closed in the seventies due to the disappearance of the managers' son. Unknown to them, someone is still living in the hotel, and getting home, or even surviving the stay, isn't as easy as they believe

Wow. That's quite the plot description for something that's supposed to be just a slasher movie. But this Norwegian effort isn't your typical North American horror movie. Sure all the trappings are here, but it's just . . . different.

First off, director/co-writer Roar Uthaug is going for a slow burn along the lines of John Carpenter's Halloween. He sets up the characters and actually bothers to make them likable. It takes about 40 minutes to get to the first kill and the deaths are sparse before Cold Prey reaches its conclusion. This is more about suspense than gore. Be warned, gore fans.

Too bad the film isn't scary nor the deaths particularly clever. People die by pick axe and that's about it. Yawn.

But Cold Prey is very well acted and exceptionally well made. This is a beautiful movie to look at, and not just because of leading ladies Ingrid Bolso Berdal and Viktoria Winge. The setting -- an abandoned ski resort -- is haunting yet gorgeous, as is the surrounding scenery. This is odd praise for a slasher film I know, but the location is so unique that it can't be ignored.

This was a huge hit in Norway and spawned two sequels, both of which I am keen to see. That's right, I said keen. Wanna fight about it!?! As for Cold Prey? I am done. It's worth the watch once now that I've seen it twice. I won't see it again. So it's getting a Bad from me.

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