Tuesday, July 27, 2010



Some of the best horror flicks and thrillers out there don't necessarily have to rely on the supernatural to scare an audience. Rather it is the what-if moments that can be drawn out from real life that makes it all the more frightening, since there's always the nagging thought of the same happening to oneself, that makes the mind whip up its intense imagination into overdrive. There have been the Open Water/Adrift type of films made for today, and Frozen joins this list of contemporary shockers meant for the modern audience.

In Frozen, it's a combination of being stuck out in the cold, freezing snowy climate and elevated at a height in the middle of nowhere, with no one the wiser of your presence. Escape possibilities get systematically closed off one by one, with what seemed to be logical slowly giving way when they're shown to be impossible. For instance, jumping down from a ski-lift from that height is close to suicidal, and wanting to slide along the steel cable means coming close to the severing of fingers. In other words, take your pick on the pain you can tolerate en route to freedom, ala the Jigsaw puzzles in the Saw films, and really, most times this will lead to a stay-put decision until the knowing torture of oneself outweighs the benefits of doing nothing.

Upping the ante means the introduction of fierce creatures to add complexity to any successful escape, and the battle against Nature as she decides to pee hard in the snow, as well as to inflict burns from low temperatures. Writer-director Adam Green crafted a psychologically terrifying story based on primal fear, especially with the way he presented the dilemma, the options, and then focusing on the decisions to be made when options get tested out. It has room for plenty of gore, but mostly plays on your personal imagination since most of the gory scenes happen off screen for you to imagine the worst.

But it's not always 90 minutes worth of desperation, since Green paced the film with enough pauses for the characters to talk during their logical breaks, either to accentuate their fear and problems verbally, or dwell in a little bit of character backstory for that added narrative variety and for us to try and identify with all three of Parker (Emma Bell), Joe (Shawn Ashmore) and Dan (Kevin Zegers) a little bit more. We'd be more than likely to gloat over their predicament since it's something that they got themselves into by way of karma, but as expected when we learn more of them, they cease to become strangers whom we can choose not to care for, and inevitably be someone we actually give two hoots about, despite their stupidity for the things that they did, even when trying to save themselves.

So what's the best way to get out of a situation like this? I'll leave it to you to find out from the movie, but as a friend shared a clip from Mythbusters, this is a tactic that is certainly something that you can try to avoid.

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