Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, December 5, 2013


COLD PREY (aka Fritt Vilt/2006). Director: Roar Uthaug.

Five young people in Norway go off on a ski weekend, but the trouble begins when one of them, Morten (Rolf Kristian Larsen), breaks his leg. The group seeks shelter in what turns out to be an abandoned ski resort, which happens to have one unfortunate, and homicidal, occupant in the basement. It isn't long [actually it's rather long] before the skiers are fighting for their lives against this menacing stranger. The main problem with Cold Prey  -- which might be considered Norway's answer to the Friday the 13th/ mad slasher franchise  -- is that the first half is staggeringly tedious, showing us these standard horny teens in much too much detail. On the other hand, all that detail does let us distinguish one from the other, which helps you care a bit about [or at least know] who's being fricasseed when the slaughter begins. What saves the movie is a fairly solid second half, which is exciting and well-directed and greatly abetted by the performances of the talented cast, with Larsen and Ingrid Borsal Berdal (as Jannicke) taking top honors. There's a striking and suspenseful climax near a crevasse as well. The movie does feature some by-now very familiar elements, including a lone female survivor taking care of the killer a la all those American slasher films. Gore-geeks will be disappointed as the film doesn't rely too much on sickening graphic details. The movie has had two sequels so far.

Verdict: You've seen it all before, but once it gets going it's quite well done. ***.

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