Stuck in the chairlift from hell

Emma Bell, Kevin Zegers (center) and Shawn Ashmore in "Frozen," a flick whose RealFeel is below brain-numbing.
Emma Bell, Kevin Zegers (center) and Shawn Ashmore in "Frozen," a flick whose RealFeel is below brain-numbing.
Posted: February 05, 2010

How do you make a decent thriller from this premise: three people stuck in a chairlift at a deserted ski resort?

You don't. Realistically, what could happen to this trio dangling in midair? Will they be attacked by ravenous pterodactyls?

All they can do is sit there getting colder and colder as they realize help isn't coming. That folks, is the plot of Frozen. In its entirety.

Where are the flying Saint Bernards when you really need them?

Three attractive twentysomethings (Shawn Ashmore, Emma Bell, and Kevin Zegers) have the accursed misfortune of trying to sneak in one last downhill run before a Boston area resort closes for the week. (Really? A ski resort open only on weekends during the winter?)

Sunrise, sunset. Sunrise, sunset. Slowly creep the days. In fact, Frozen moves so glacially, you could swear it was shot in real time.

The last words Zegers says before boarding the chair are "We'll be like wicked fast." Oh, cruel irony.

Don't any of them have a cell phone stashed in one of the 30 or so pockets on their parkas? Apparently not. Couldn't they jump to the ground? Sure, they consider it, but it's an awfully big drop.

About all they can do is sit there, making inane chitchat to distract themselves - that is, when they're not squabbling and pointing gloves at one another. Hurry, hypothermia!

How could a film set in the great outdoors feel so claustrophobic? Three people trapped in an elevator would be more exciting.

Obviously, you need to add some agent of suspense. Otherwise, you're simply waiting for frostbite to set in. And Frozen devises a real doozy. Who knew the woods near Framingham were so savage?

Director and writer Adam Green was aiming for a low-budget thriller in the vein of Paranormal Activity. What he created is about one short click away from a bad Saturday Night Live sketch.

This may be the only scary movie ever made in which you end up rooting against the innocents.

If you actually sit through this enervating ordeal, you'll swear that time is Frozen.


Contact staff writer David Hiltbrand at 215-854-4552 or dhiltbrand@phillynews.com. Read his recent work at http://go.philly.com/daveondemand.

 

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