Monday, October 26, 2009

Cold Prey

After watching Norwegians being responsible for nearly wiping out the human race in The Thing, it was time to see what they could do with more conventional horror, so I watched the Norwegian movie Cold Prey (Fritt Vilt). It’s a slasher movie, heavily influenced by classic American slasher flicks, but better done than most American approaches to the sub-genre.

Five attractive young people (two couples and the comic relief) are on a ski vacation when one breaks a leg. Because they had chosen a remote mountain to ski to avoid crowds, they are far from any help, so they take refuge in a nearby abandoned hotel. They find out the hotel isn’t as isolated as they thought, and the madman with a pickaxe who lives there begins stalking and killing them. Can the Final Girl survive?

There’s not much more to the basic plot line than that, and it follows the typical formula for the type of movie it is. There are some aspects, however, that elevate it a bit above what we have come to expect from a Halloween-inspired movie.

First of all, though none of the five victims-in-process are perfect, neither are any of them so unlikeable you want them to die, as is the case in most slasher movies. This means that you are rooting for them to survive the attacks of the psycho, which makes their death or near-death much more visceral. I assume when the inevitable American remake is filmed, an actress from Gossip Girl will be cast to play the Complete Bitch, and an actor from The Hills will play the Self-absorbed Asshole, which will help make it just like every other movie. The characters also seem to be actual friends, and try their best to help each other. They also show relative level of resourcefulness once they realize what is going on.

The movie is well shot, with interiors in the old hotel suitably claustrophobic, while the outdoor photography is beautiful. I’m sure shooting exteriors in snow-covered mountains helps with that. The acting is good, particularly in the case of the Final Girl.

If you are a fan of slasher movies, I suggest you check out Cold Prey, it is a cut above the average fare. If you are a fan of Cold Prey, get ready, because the sequel is already showing in Europe.

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