I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

Frozen

tn_frozenWhen I reviewed P2 recently I talked about movies with confined locations, well how ’bout this one? Three college kids – girlfriend, boyfriend, and boyfriend’s life-long best friend – get stuck on a ski lift. There’s some build-up to set up the characters and how it happens, but most of the movie takes place with them sitting on this lift, nobody knowing they’re up there, the resort closed for a week, hail coming down, the skin on their faces freezing off. Not one of the better snowboarding trips they’ve had, most likely.

(SPOILER)
(SPOILER)

As you’re watching you think of the things you would try if you were stuck there, and they try some of those and quickly find out why that’s not as easy as it sounds. I’ve heard some criticism about them not trying to take off their clothes and tie them into a rope, but I forgive them for not trying. With the luck they have in this movie I’m positive they would’ve figured out a way to fuck that up. Their hopes are crushed pretty quick when they try the most obvious one (maybe we could just jump? It’s not that far down and there’s snow!). It not only fails but fails way worse than they could’ve imagined.

At first being stuck up there seems more shitty than life-threatening, but their efforts change that pretty quick. First it’s how do we get off this thing, next thing you know it’s how do we stop the bleeding, then what can I use to defend myself from predators?

Of course a movie like this is gonna be kind of like a play. Lots of talking, revealing their secret resentments, talking about things that have happened to them in the past, showing us what drives them. Either that or there could be a bunch of fight scenes on the ski lift, but in this case they chose talking. So there’s more time spent on quiet character moments than big scares.

It’s not really a horror movie, more of a suspense-survival thriller, like that one where the soccer team’s plane crashes in the mountain. But there’s no cannibalism on the ski lift. Or is there? I would never give it away if there was and/or wasn’t cannibalism.

There’s a couple effective grossout/sympathy pain scenes, but for the most part it’s not a shock movie. The most devastating things aren’t necessarily the ones you’re expecting, they’re things like having to piss real bad or realizing that her dog could starve to death if she doesn’t get home.

The writer/director is Adam Green, who did HATCHET. I’ve spilled alot of letters before about this phenomenon I see of certain directors that have good promotional type relationships with the web movies writers and it seems to me like the quality of their movies gets accidentally blown out of proportion because of that. Instead of going into detail about it for now on I think I figured out a shorthand, I’ll just call those guys “friends of the internet.” Adam Green is a friend of the internet, and the internet loves it some HATCHET and FROZEN. We’ll put it that way.

FROZEN isn’t gonna knock you on your ass, but it’s a little step toward earning that internet love fair and square. I didn’t like HATCHET much at all, but this is a different type of deal and doesn’t make the same mistakes. It does have a sense of geography and atmosphere, it does balance its humor with its tension and drama, it does seem to understand the traditions and expectations of its genre.

One thing that’s a little odd, they set up a few conflicts with other people before they get stuck, so if it didn’t show you how the lift stopped it could add some extra paranoia – did somebody do this to them on purpose? Is somebody gonna come after them? Instead the movie shows exactly the series of circumstances and mistakes that leads to them getting stuck on the lift, and I think that’s the right choice. It seems very plausible and keeps you from looking for a big bullshit Hollywood revelation at the end.

The part I did have a problem with is the fucking SPOILERS. Er, I mean the wolves. Okay, putting a wolf down there is a good threat, and it’s kinda funny that the poor girl is worrying about her dog not having food and her boyfriend gets eaten by wolves. But wolves rarely attack humans, and I have a hard time believing there’s a whole pack of hungry maneaters living on a damn ski resort. These are the types of problems that get sorted out long before some people accidentally get stuck on a ski lift.

I would forgive it if the scene played out with a realistic feel. If it seemed like a wolf going oh, fuck it, he’s injured, I’m tasting him, then it could be terrifying. But the movie treats them as roaring monsters that circle in and then it cuts away. I don’t buy it.

But for the most part FROZEN works. It’s a pretty good execution of a simple, clean suspense concept. It didn’t leave me cold. I didn’t feel freezer burned. And that’s snow joke. Don’t get stuck with inferior confinement movies, like STUCK. FROZEN will lift your spirits! Etcetera!

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.
This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 5th, 2010 at 1:59 am and is filed under Reviews, Thriller. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

58 Responses to “Frozen”

  1. I remember that a few days after the movie started in theatres, a man was REALLY forgotten over night on a ski lift. He got rescued, because he started to burn his money bills one by one to get seen.

  2. Talking about movies with confined locations, Buried is quite good – No flashbacks!

  3. Ace Mac Ashbrook

    October 5th, 2010 at 3:34 am

    I found a night porter in a walk in chiller in the hotel I used to work in. Poor old bastard said he’d been in for hours. No wolves in there though.

  4. One of the things that really bugged me about this movie (besides the wolves) was the way that they left their jackets unzipped and unbuttoned around their necks the entire time they were freezing to death. Come on now, bundle up. I understand we need to see their faces to feel empathy, but under all of that fake ice, what difference does it make anyway. Also, how is it that the girl needs to go to the bathroom the very first minute they get stuck and then manages to make it pretty much the entire movie with that bodily function forgotten. Overall, not great, but not horrible.

    Vern,

    For the Halloween month, I looked and don’t see that you ever reviewed The Burning. Pretty groovy early 80s horror flick that I believe will fit your tastes quite nicely. Also, be sure to watch the credits on that one and see how many future studio heads and big name producers have a credit.

    Also, you should check out Madman. It’s not the greatest slasher flick ever made, but it is a pretty solid quirky entry. Came out the same year as the original Friday the 13th and also features counselors at a camp getting picked off one by one. I am not sure which story had that idea first. But the reason for the tie-in to this post is that I am pretty sure that Madman must have been the movie Adam Green watched when he set out to make Hatchet. But where Hatchet tries to be the cheap, postmodern “wink-wink” slasher film, Madman is that lived in the time, made in the time, flick that wears its sincerity and enthusiasm on its sleeve.

  5. It’s set in New Hampshire, right? Yeah, wolves have been extinct in NH for decades, at least. But hey, it’s just a movie.

    Although a friend of mine swears he saw a few up in the mountains back in the 90s, so, who knows.

  6. MDM: actually, (and counter-intuitively) we can delay our urge to pee pretty long, while we can’t control bowel movements that well. Go figure.

  7. Ace Mac Ashbrook

    October 5th, 2010 at 5:37 am

    For Halloween, try finding Neon Maniacs. Its got a gimp driving a train.

  8. Yea, this was awesome. 5/5 stars, 9/10. My wife said 10/10. She was shaken up and disturbed after the movie. We had to watch the latest animated Superman offering afterward for some “lighter fare” to help her deal with being traumatized. And that, my friend, is the sign of a good horror movie… When your wife, who sits through Jackass and Saw and Hostel movies… Finally has to hold your hand in terror.

  9. I liked the movie except for the wolves too. I was thinking the exact same thing when watchinmg it that i doubt a pack of wolves would be at a popular ski resort. Having all those people and all that noise there most of the time would have scared them away a long time ago.

  10. hey vern, if your looking for a silly slasher movie take a look at CLUB DREAD, that was suprisingly fun

  11. Not a bad film. Seeing as I disliked Open Water, I really wasn’t expected in rate this at all. It wasn’t exactely The Town, but it was still a cool way to kill some time.

  12. I loved it. Really well made. Not a big fan of Hatchet but if I didn’t know, I wouldn’t think the maker of this had anything to do with that one. The girl really impressed me.

  13. Count me as a CLUB DREAD fan too. It’s a pretty unique mix of completely absurd comedy and slasher film parody, that takes the subject it ridicules more serious than most other parodies.

  14. Rent Open Water 2, I emailed Vern about this while watching Frozen the other night. I know, I know, a straight to DVD movie? Well for one, it really has little to nothing to do with the first Open Water which I didn’t care for except it involves water. Same genre of the “being stuck” kind of thing, and SUPER effective, for my money. It made me squirm almost the entire time.

  15. Huh. I was thinking of Stuck the whole review, and as soon as the phrase, “friends of the Internet” came into play, I immediately wondered about how the two stack up against each other. Because Stuart Gordon, geek-friendly* auteur he may be, does not seem to have the same level of promotional relationship with the Internet. But you beat me to it. Good show, sir!

    * Or is it nerd-friendly?

  16. I haven’t seen this yet, but I liked HATCHET, if only for the truly excellent gore. It was definitely overrated after its initial festival run but what horror movie isn’t? I appreciate that it was wacky “Let’s rip up some latex and have a good time” horror in the midst of the deadly serious “Violence is unpleasant and everybody must cry all the time” horror phase. That said, yeah, it wasn’t very funny, there was a distinct parking lot quality to the lighting in the swamp scenes, and it could have been about two-thirds less winky-winky. But I liked Kane Hodder’s performance as the killer, and that part where he rips open that dude’s head like a Pez dispenser has got to be my favorite gore effect of the 21st century. I want to see the sequel and hope that it has maximized the first one’s strengths and minimizes its weaknesses.

    Plus, Danielle Harris. The crush is in its third decade now.

  17. Yeah, if anybody sees HATCHET 2 let me know what you think, especially if you didn’t like the first one but do end up liking that one. Because I’d like that to be the case with me, but I don’t know what the chances are. Anyway, I’m curious. It’s cool that they were able to release it unrated in theaters.

  18. Alyssa Milano’s been one of my crushes since early Who’s the Boss & Commando days. (I was really young back then; it’s not weird.) So that makes it 4 decades now and counting, Mr. Majestyk. Much as RRA’s Zack Snyder hatred is bigger than AsimovLives’s Snyder hatred, my crushing is bigger than your crushing.

  19. The original Paul

    October 5th, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    This one’s near the top of my “to watch” queue at the moment. I’ll post something when I got something.

    Mouth – how about Alyssa in “Double Dragon” (one of the most tragically misunderstood movies of the modern age)? She gets to force-feed a guy in a mohawk and a 500lb fatsuit some spinach. That’s like six fetishes all catered for at once right there.

  20. The original Paul

    October 5th, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    Vern – I might see it, but I pretty much agreed wholesale with your review of the first “Hatchet” so it’s not at the top of my list. I simply didn’t like the characters enough, and the music grated on me. Hopefully the second one is better.

  21. So it looks like Hatchet 2 has already been pulled from theaters. No press release saying why yet. People again not willing to let people watch what they want to I’d imagine.

  22. They’re obviously not just rabid man eating wolves. they’re rabid man eating wolves with good taste. them living on a ski resort and all. They obviously belong to the deranged and crazy care taker. He only let’s them out when the resort is closed for a week and he’s trapped some food for them up on the ski lift, said food having to come down at some point.

  23. Looks like it’s still playing in New York.

    Best city on earth, in case you forgot.

  24. The only things I remember about Double Dragon are Robert Patrick looking like a bad Vanilla Ice and Alyssa Milano’s boobs looking absolutely HUGE.

  25. I dunno, Mr. Majestyk. It definitely used to be my #1. I haven’t been to Vienna or Tokyo (#s 2 & 1 on my to visit list) yet, but I am a big big fan of San Francisco. And I saw an underground semi-legal midget fight in Shanghai, so it’s got that going for it. . . Nah, you’re right, NYC is bloody awesome. Rome is competitive, but only for a few hours at a time, until the cultural awesomeness wears off and you realize that it’s, well, it ain’t New Yawk.

    Cadiz, Espana has a special place in my heart that will be hard for NYC to usurp if only b/c of the climate disparity. (But forget I told y’all about that– stay out of Cadiz. It’s MY secret awesome city, goddammit. {Men in Black light zaps everyone. . .} Ah, that’s better.)

  26. Ace Mac AShbrook

    October 5th, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    Didn’t know they made a Double Dragon movie. Alyssa Milano’s tits. Sold.

  27. Ace Mac AShbrook

    October 5th, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    Been to many cities across this rock we live on and New York is the one that will always be the best city for me. Always wanted to go to Toyko though, for that Blade Runner vibe.

  28. Toronto, baby. Toronto…

  29. Ace Mac AShbrook

    October 5th, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    Er Tokyo.

  30. What I wanted to say is: Toronto is the greatest city in the world. Fact. Good night.

  31. I had more fun in Vancouver. Factosaurus Rex.

  32. Hatchet was a disapointment, but I have been wanting to check this one out. The Internet loved Hatchet, but nobody I know liked it.

  33. Also, I am with Mouth, Vancouver is the shit.

  34. The original Paul

    October 5th, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    Charles – sometimes I feel that about half the films I see, except “the Internet” comprises you guys.

    ThomasCrown – so you don’t remember them setting a river on fire? (Yes, everyone, you read that right.) Or the random out-of-leftfield zombie attack (in a film that had never once hinted at the existence of zombies before then? Not that that’s so out-of-touch with the spirit of the games… in DD3 there was a random tree-monster attack at one point, and I’m pretty damn sure they hadn’t hinted at the existence of tree-monsters either.) Oh, and there’s one moment where the protagonists walk into some random yard somewhere and suddenly find themselves in the middle of a (very stealthy) army.

    My favorite scenes in “Double Dragon” both feature Abobo, leader of the Mohawk gang. And bizarrely, neither of them is the aforementioned spinach force-feeding. One is when he walks through a door, hits his mohawk on the top of the frame, and grunts in pain. Yep, this guy has pain-receptors in his hairstyle, folks. That’s the kind of crazy we’re dealing with here.

    The other is when he’s driving his truck along the road in pursuit of the protagonists, when one of them expertly throws a newspaper in such a way that it instantly unfolds and sticks to Abobo’s entire windshield (as newspaper often does). Fortunately, Abobo has planned for this exact contingency. He presses a button, and a CAMERA emerges from the hood of his car, while a TELEVISION emerges from his dashboard. A. Freaking. Television. Yep, he continues driving using the television to see where he’s going.

    Plus it never once occurs to him to, y’know, reach out of the window and tear the newspaper off the front of his truck.

    Seriously, guys… if this does not convince you that this is the best terrible movie ever to not be seen by human eyes, I don’t know what will.

  35. Toronto, bang on!

    I did a poor job exploring Nuit Blanche this year, but it’s one of those things that make me tour to live here.

  36. *proud to live here.

    still getting used to typing on this iphone.

  37. I posted this on IMDB after I saw this one in the theater:

    “The more I think about this movie the less it makes sense. HEAVY SPOILERS follow.

    I feel like a lot of my gripes could have been avoided had ten smart people sat down with the script and raised questions as fuel for a rewrite. That said I am evaluating the movie, not the script, as I haven’t read the script. And I realize people do dumb things under pressure. I’m not denying that three people could hypothetically get stuck on a chairlift and forgotten about. But there are just too many contrivances in how the movie presents the scenario. Let me expound:

    – First of all, there was a serious lack of decent brainstorming in general. At no point did the characters ever stop to seriously think before any of the actions that they expected to save their lives.

    – Lynch has a throwaway line about not skiing with his cell phone. Fine. Maybe you could even start making stuff up outside the narrative, and say that Walker doesn’t carry one either, due to tradition or something. They did talk about leaving the outside world off the mountain. They’re die-hards. But Parker? She doesn’t seem like the type to leave a cell phone at home, nor one to respect the sanctity of the slopes. And I don’t recall a line where she said her phone was out of batteries, or something. None of the three twentysomethings stuck on this chair lift have a cell phone? Impossible. The only way to avoid this problem these days is to make it an 80s period piece like House of the Devil or something.

    – No one knows they’re up there. No one gets curious why they didn’t come home. Friday’s Facebook status was “gone skiing, back Sunday night!” no one cares when there’s no Sunday night “skiing was awesome this weekend!”. Actually that’s kind of plausible.

    – The time to yell and scream for help was right at the beginning, as soon as the lights went out. But one of the characters tells another to calm down and be quiet as soon as they start doing this.

    – No one wrapped their scarf around their face, pulled their toques down or even zipped their jackets all the way up. They had sun glasses and goggles. No one used them. If you’re exposed and risking frostbite, the logical thing to do would be to cover up as much as possible. The obvious problem here being that we wouldn’t have such pretty faces to look at.

    – They should have discussed what to do if they saw something like a snowmobile happening along below before it actually happened. It took them far too long to do the obvious (tossing their skis down). Until the snowmobile was reversing, in fact, with the driver ceasing to look forward. Tossing the goggles and the scarves was not very smart. Skis, poles, snowboards. And it wouldn’t have killed them to try and actually hit the vehicle. But the time to do it would have been as soon as the driver was facing the area where they’d be dropping the stuff. I know they assumed they were being rescued at first, assuming they weren’t forgotten about and this was someone coming to save the day, but it’s an assumption that cost them dearly. And something that could have been avoided had they planned for it instead of asking each other what celebrities they’d have sex with.

    – Having failed to hit the snowmobile with something, this would have been the logical time for someone to jump. Jump = broken legs, but at least screams would be easier to hear from the ground, and a moving body would be easier to see than skis if the driver looked back forward.

    – Rather than impulsively deciding to jump after the snowmobile left, they could have brainstormed enough to come up with trying to traverse the cables before jumping. That way, you are trying two methods in one go. If you can make it to a tower you can descend the ladder, if you fall you are trying Plan B (jumping) anyway. The more athletic man could have had first go at it, as well.

    – Impulsive jump it is, however. Walker’s legs were FUBAR, but if he was able to do that cringe-inducing series of situps to grab a piece of fabric, then I think he could have managed dragging himself to a snowboard, getting on it face down, and sliding down the mountain. If the guy in Touching the Void descended an entire mountain in a similar state, this guy could crawl to a snowboard and slide down the bunny hill.

    – Wolves do not typically attack, kill or eat humans. In fact, do a Google search and see if you can find any news items about someone being attacked and killed by a wolf. It’s extremely rare behavior for the species. I suspended my disbelief for Walker’s death due to the extent of his injury and his bleeding, but having gorged themselves on his carcass I do not believe for a second that the wolves would then kill and devour a relatively capable Lynch. I think an able-bodied man with a ski pole would be well matched against a pack of wolves that had just feasted on a 170 pound kill. There’s the whole “now they have a taste for human!” theory but honestly that’s a load of crap, and it’s not even supported by the movie because they leave Parker alone. I believe a wolf would attack a man in self defense, but I do not believe that a wolf would go to great trouble to attack a man as a food source after a recent meal. But that’s just me, and I’m no David Attenborough. Also, wolfpacks would not likely hang around a ski resort. They avoid humans. If they were stubborn enough to make a heavily populated place like a ski resort their territory, the humans would probably be aware of it and might even actively hunt them. A bear would be more plausible, as bears generally don’t care if they’re in human territory or not and like to root through our trash. Also the only bears that are wandering around in the winter instead of hibernating are the ones who didn’t get enough food during the summer and have to keep scavenging in the cold, so the aggressiveness would be plausible. Wolves are too busy being skittish and killing deer to behave like they do in this movie.

    – Parker peed her pants after holding it for what, twelve hours? It was established that she was perhaps a bit prudish when it came to urination, but peeing your pants in that weather would be a good way to freeze your nether bits. Strangely, the movie does nothing with this, and there are no consequences to her wetting her snowpants in sub-zero weather. Lynch also seems to forget that she even had to go. Any gentleman would have offered to turn away and let her figure out how to drop trou and go off the side.

    – Dropping a mitten is not all that unrealistic, but if I dropped my mitten I would secure that hand firmly to my groin for the duration of my stay on the chair lift, in order to keep it warm. Doing this might also prevent the whole hand-stuck-to-rail scenario.

    – And if it didn’t, there would be a much easier solution to getting your hand unstuck than ripping it off at the expense of your skin. Lynch could have peed on her hand, for instance. I actually thought this was predictably going to happen, as she actually says earlier that the thought of him whipping it out to relieve himself would make her want to vomit. Seemed like obvious foreshadowing, but then she strangely mutilates herself and hides it from him. I guess she was really serious about not wanting to see his penis.

    – Did they leave a car in the parking lot the whole time? Is it really normal for staff to completely abandon a ski resort, even if it’s closed on weekdays? You figure they’d need an employee in the office at least, answering phones, selling passes, coordinating the various maintenance and housekeeping duties that must go on while the hill is closed. Maybe someone to keep an eye out for wolves.

    – One of the characters mentioned cameras. Good question. Aren’t there any cameras around? Especially if the employees abandon the resort for five days a week? Damn no good punk townies would be breaking into the office and smoking pot.

    – I’m sure there are many ski-resort employees who can explain why something like this just wouldn’t happen the way it plays out in this movie. Seems like it’s too easy for this mistake to occur, even though the film presents it as a chain of happenstance. But you think a good ski resort would foresee Murphy’s Law and have safety measures to prevent lawsuits. Another thread mentions ribbons being tied around the first/last chair to make sure a full revolution is run, or seat cushions being flipped. The story’s method of getting them stuck up there is just plausible enough to work in the context of a ski hill run by lazy minimum wagers, but it requires a string of dramatic conveniences. ie: the employee being called away from his post for a superfluous reason, a specifically misleading line of dialogue “three on the way down” when they’re actually on the way up, there being three skiers coincidentally coming down at the same time, the people stuck on the chairlift being just big enough jerks to ensure that the employee would be annoyed enough with them not to double check they made it down OK, etc. The excuse here, of course, is that the employees of the hill are deadbeats and don’t care about doing their job properly. But if you’re making minimum wage on a job like this, there are probably other incentives to doing it. Like night-skiing drunk on Friday night after everyone else has left the hill. Yeah yeah I know, the storm.

    Well that about covers it I guess? I can’t think of any more right now. None of these things would be crippling to the film on their own, but together they form one big Gordian knot of contrived coincidence. I implore you to agree. “

  38. Thanks for the Vancouver love boys. I haven’t been posting much lately because I’m knee deep in our annual film festival. I’ve seen 24 movies since Thursday. Vern, you are gonna fuckin love 13 ASSASSINS. I’ve been writing small Facebook status sized reviews of everything I’ve seen. Might send em to AICN or something at the end of the festival.

  39. Vern, what do you think of the Hatchet II controversy? Conspiracy theories seem overblown to me. It probably just didn’t make nearly enough money to keep playing it. They tried the unrated experiment and it didn’t work, because the movie was Hatchet II.

  40. Sorry Ace. The Milano boobage could not save Double Dragon. Amazing but true.

  41. Ace Mac Ashbrook

    October 6th, 2010 at 1:48 am

    ThomasCrown442> I figured that when i looked up the trailer.

  42. Yeah, looks like I spoke too soon about it being cool that they were able to release Hatchet 2 unrated. I’m pretty sure it was playing at the theater when I saw The Social Network, but I checked today and it’s not there anymore. I was actually considering seeing it.

    From what I read it ranked #50 at the box office. Of course that was on 68 screens. But I think they found that when you release a semi-obscure movie unrated with no advertising at all that it doesn’t make as much money as GET LOW (which is what they replaced it with here).

    It would be a better experiment if it was a big, highly anticipated movie that they decided to release unrated.

  43. havent seen the movie, but all ski resorts i have been to usually do a full run with empty seats to check that theres no one on there.

  44. Saw Hatchet 1 after hearing so much positive word from Chud and Aint it Cool and felt pretty much the same as you – dissapointed. I went to Fantastic Fest a couple weeks ago and wasn’t planning on watching Hatchet 2, but enough people were saying positive things about it that I decided to check it out. It is a lot more fun than part 1. The story isn’t any better, but I think there’s less of one which might be a good thing. It mostly focuses on Crowley murdering people in inventive ways. Lots of funny/interesting kills. But nothing deep beyond that. For Horror aficianados I’d recommend checking it out, not necessarily in theatres, but whenever you get a chance to see it on the cheap.

  45. Exactly, it’s kind of a fake experiment if you release a movie that already no one cares about (based on Hatchet 1 reviews/interest) and say, “Well, that proves unrated doesn’t sell.”

    Kinda like when they released Steven Soderbergh’s Bubble day and date theatrically, DVD and VOD. Hardly an experiment unless it’s an actual movie that would compete with the blockbusters anyway, not an obscure indie that was always going to be limited.

    I do think the conspiracy theories about AMC screwing over indie filmmakers and in bed with the MPAA is overblown. There just wasn’t interest in Hatchet II and they weren’t under contractual obligation to keep showing it. Shocktilyoudrop’s report said $900 per screen. If Get Low can pull $2000 or more, tha’ts that.

  46. I’ve actually have an actual weird relationship with Adam Green. I’ve been mentioned twice on Dread Central podcasts about Hatchet. I was a pretty big hater on Hatchet for how disappointing it was. But I was super excited for Hatchet. I was going to the midnight showing but they didn’t actually have it at midnight. Then by the time I got to it Monday, they had it yanked. There is no way, btw, that it had anything to do with it not making money. The theater person I was talking to said it was the only movie in that theater making any money. Of coarse, when your competition is Mao’s Last Dancer, I can understand why. Although I doubt they are pulling that one from theaters.

    Also, I’m talked about during an Adam Green / Kane Hodder Q&A. I brought up how they should take off their jackets and zipline down to the end. Turns out, that wouldn’t work ever.

  47. I have something else to say. You cannot compare Get Low to Hatchet II. Get Low has a secret weapon that Hatchet II could never possibly have. The elderly. When I saw Get Low (great movie btw, highly recommended), the theater was packed with the elderly. When they get a hold of a movie, they will see it.

    All Hatchet II has is a small minority of internet horror fans that had all of three days to see it. The horror community really kinda sucks. They complain about the lack of original horror films and when there is an original horror film, they don’t go it but they do go to all the remakes they complain about.

  48. I don’t know about the actual numbers, but $900 per screen seems to be a good number of horror fans, just not enough. I don’t think a horror fan not being interested in Hatchet II means they’re not a devoted horror fan. Try releasing a Wes Craven or George Romero unrated for a better test, and even those have other limits. I suppose for a real control group, gotta release some unrated Freddy and Jason, or for this generation Saw movies, which they’d never do.

    Also, why do horror movies have to be unrated? We all know the MPAA is all about keeping boobs and penises off screen. They don’t care how brutally you kill somebody.

  49. Ah man Vern, I wish you wouldn’t casually knock STUCK like that. I know it wasn’t your cup of tea, but you’ve got to at least admit it’s got good qualities, at least enough so that it doesn’t deserve to be labeled an “inferior confinement movie.” Do you really think Adam Green is more talented than Stuart Gordon? I mean at least single out OPEN WATER 2: ADRIFT if you’re going to point out a less inspired take on the same idea (that one even has a baby left on the boat, sort of like the dog left at home in FROZEN, as well as being a similar situation that seems easy to get out of when in fact the characters are pretty much fucked).

    “Confinement movie” seems to be a popular subgenre these days, doesn’t it? DEVIL, BURIED, 27 HOURS…kind of Hollywood’s latest gimmick isn’t it, sort of this year’s parkour?

  50. I haven’t seen the OPEN WATER movies, and actually STUCK is a cheat because most of it is not about the confinement, it’s not really in the same category. But it is called “Stuck” so that fit the sentence pretty good. I guess if I’d seen OPEN WATER 2 I could’ve said “don’t be set adrift with inferior confinement movies like OPEN WATER 2: ADRIFT.”

    I think somebody else said ADRIFT was good, though.

  51. I agree with Vern…I was really disappointed with Stuck because it sounded like it would be a real-time story about the predicament. It wasn’t, and it wasn’t as compelling that way. Just a so-so movie.

    I also think saying that Hatchet is an original horror film is a biiiit of a stretch. There’s not really anything too original in those movies…okay, I haven’t seen the second so I guess I can’t judge, but I have seen the first and it was basically just stuff I’ve seen in a hundred other slasher movies except the killer didn’t have a cool mask.

  52. I haven’t seen FROZEN, but it seems to have a lot in common with OW2. The appeal of that one was that you wouldn’t believe it could be so impossible to get back onboard a boat with no ladder, and the doom factor is made worse by the sheer stupidity of the situation. For a DTV sequel (that was originally an unrelated production re-tooled to tie-in with OPEN WATER) it’s decent enough, and I liked it better than its namesake. It’s certainly more a confinement movie than STUCK, in the sense that they’re “confined” in the water.

  53. You hit it on the head, Vern, as you do most of the time. Really liked the flick, only the wolves hurt the reality-thing a bit. Otherwise a suspenseful and most of all emotional experience.

  54. Saw this one tonight and It didn’t really work for me as an effective thriller. These kids just make every god damned stupid mistake you could possibly imagine and that really killed all the tension for me. I mean some scenes definitely get to you just because how can you not squirm seeing bones jutting out in every direction from some poor kids legs.

    Dan jumps way too fucking early and in the dumbest possible way. Just flings himself out there, doesn’t even try to hang off the chair and minimize the distance,let alone make a clothes rope.it’s not 3-4 minutes after the thing stops that he starts talking about it. Slow down dude. Yeah he waits till things seem slightly more desperate,like his girlfriends cheeks are too rosy for his liking I guess. But seriously, bundle the fuck up and wait for morning, at least. Gwai Lo all ready went over basically everything I had issues with above, but it really was frustrating to sit through this movie.

    And I don’t think I’ve ever felt so cheated by what was clearly set up to be a man-on-skis vs. bloodthirsty wolf downhill ski chase,complete with crazy ass jumps and an avalanche. Guess it wasn’t in their budget. Maybe next time.

  55. The original Paul

    October 26th, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    Just saw this one.

    Well I thought this one wasn’t as good as “Open Water” was, but it still worked well for me. Don’t agree with Dieselboy, I thought the kids fucked things up but it was plausible, it wasn’t a dealbreaker for me.

    And the jump – JEEZ. That’s one of the most effective “OH SHIT” moments I’ve seen for a while, and I’ve been watching a lot of horror recently.

  56. Weird – like the guy above, I too had to watch an animated Superman movie after this to lighten things up. (Netflix Instant marathons are really convenient).

    I actually never once thought of the clothes-rope during the movie – i guess I was too into what was happening to play “what if?” which is weird b/c I usually CAN’T get into movies because I’m playing “what if”.

    I think the raw performances and the Lost-esque score really sucked me in. It’s been a while since I was actually moved by a character death, but I might have seriously shed a tear if I wasn’t at work right now.

  57. Michael Mayket

    July 7th, 2012 at 9:13 am

    I realize it is some sort of bot, but I would like to hear more about Bee Curlis’s community initiative that was provided beneficial information to work on by Vern’s FROZEN review.

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