Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Revenge is a Dish Best Served Cold... Repeatedly

Norway is a pretty great country. There are crazy Viking museums and it's the home of Ibsen who wrote depressing-ass plays and now Cold Prey (2006). In solidarity with Stacie Ponder's Final Girl Film Club I thought I'd give this one a whirl. It's got pretty great reviews and I love me some slasher fun. And there's snow! It's like The Shining allllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll over again.

Best. Stink. Eye. EVAR!

Well.... ish. The story is basic. Hot Norwegians go skiing. The least attractive one breaks his leg (bone poking out and all) and the group is forced to take shelter. They stumble upon an abandoned hotel, a seemingly perfect place to crash, attend to their friend and fornicate before getting help. Winning, right? Actually no. So no. It's the opposite of winning. Not just because of the tacky decor but because there's a crazy man who lives there who will eventually show himself and pick them off one by one.

Now if you troll the interwebs you'll find a lot of people hailing this as a slasher classic. My problem is that it absorbs all the tropes of slasher films, directly ripping off Halloween and Friday the 13th, and sticking it against a snowy backdrop.

Director Roar Uthaug (interesting fact: that's also my middle name) makes every shot beautiful. It adds a lot of class to this by-the-book slasher. Writer Thomas Moldestad attempts to deviate from the slasher mold by making the audience wait 45 minutes until the first kill. I assume this is so we care about the characters but the characters are dull. They're just regular 20-somethings with regular boring 20-something problems. I was actually relieved when the killings started because it meant the plot would actually be forced to move forward.

Now... let's talk about the killer. I have never been less scared of a killer. And I get scared easily. Some guy with a bunch of furs on with a normal looking birthmark over one of his eyes does not scare me. Perhaps it's because we get some many full body shots of him rather than teases at something creepier but he did not do it for me. It looks like my uncle went for a walk in a snowstorm.

Now we all know how these movies end. People die till there's a girl left standing. She "kills" the baddie and tra-la-la continues on her merry way. Well, until she gets picked off in one of the sequels. Which brings me to das sequel Cold Prey 2: Resurrection, the totally-necessary-and-not-at all-cash-grab of a sequel.

Cold Prey 2 picks off immediately where Cold Prey left off and continues merrily on the away to Halloween 2 Land. Final Girl is found, taken to the same hospital as the Killer and more deaths ensue. I appreciate that they try to explain the background of the unthreatening killer and making some kind of socio-economic point about Norwegian health care, but for realz, we've all been to this rodeo before.

Unless you're one of those weirdos that think slashers started with Scream. Then I just feel bad for you.

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