EXCL: Things Get Chilling at Sundance Frozen Screenings
About an hour ago we got an e-mail in our inbox from DC reader Gary Luchessi, who attended the last screening of Frozen at Sundance. Gary had two reasons for writing: one, to let us know that our Frozen review (read it here) was on the money, and two, to let us know that someone fainted in the bathroom during last night's screening. Interesting.
If you recall, someone also fainted during Grace's festival run so this just seemed too funny to not follow up on. The first thing we did was call the Tower Theatre in Salt Lake City to get a statement. The person whom we spoke with refused to comment on the grounds of liability so we hit a dead end there. Immediately we got director Adam Green on the phone to find out what the deal was.
"Actually, there’s been an incident at all three screenings," said Green. "Somebody passed out in the Egyptian the first night, two people vomited during the second screening (one of whom came back into the theatre to finish the movie, which I thought was pretty cool), and then again as we were leaving last night, the theatre manager told us someone had passed out in the bathroom."
"We've been ignoring it because it’s becoming ridiculous for us. Similar stuff happened during Grace's run, and now there's this," Green continued. "My theory about why this happens during festivals is that people just buy blocks of tickets for movies without really realizing what they’re going to see. For a diehard horror fan there’s nothing in Frozen that’s gonna make you faint. You may be unsettled or get a little squeamish here and there, but that's about it."
"Now that people are talking about it, I have no choice but to acknowledge what has been happening," added Green. "The whole thing is kinda silly to me and everyone on my crew, and that’s why you haven’t seen anyone from the Frozen camp rushing to the sites to talk about it. We don't need this kind of thing to get people excited. Hopefully the movie will do that and speak for itself. The last thing we want to happen is to scare people away because they think this is some kind of a gorefest. It's just not. If I could put my finger on it, the reason why we’ve had reactions like this is because the movie deals with very realistic injuries to the human body, and as a result it's eliciting some sort of personal response from people. This is the last thing that we expected to happen."
"The strangest thing to happen to us thus far was during last night's Q&A. We again told the story about the haunted spot on the ski lift (see that story here). Afterward a woman came up to me, introduced herself, and said that she knew the person who had killed himself. That's a really eerie kind of confirmation, ya know?"
From there Adam told us that he wasn't the only one with an odd tale to tell about Frozen's Sundance run, and he pointed us in the direction of star Shawn Ashmore.
"At the midnight screening Sunday I was sitting next to Kevin Zegers, who's also in the movie, and one of Kevin's agents," says Ashmore. "Around the middle of the movie his agent went to the bathroom, and when he got back, he told us that there was some woman passed out in the lobby and people were busy fanning her. Then each night after that we kept hearing about something else. People getting sick, etc. We were really surprised that the movie is affecting people that way by physically overwhelming them."
"Anyway, I was at the Salt Lake airport, and this woman walked past me in the airport and recognized me from Frozen," continues Ashmore. "She asked if she could get a picture with me, and I said absolutely. While we were taking the picture, she let me know that she was the one who had passed out on Sunday and that she came back and finished the movie once she came around! She had a big smile and was really excited about the whole thing. She seemed kinda proud. Both she and her boyfriend said that they really enjoyed the movie. Too funny and really cool!"
Having seen the movie, all I can do is echo Adam's statement ... for horror fans there really isn't anything in Frozen that is going to freak you out to the point of fainting. It's a realistic film with a lot of crazy shit that happens to its protagonists. It's scary because it could happen. As big fans of the genre, I guess we're not as sensitive to such things as those people who refer to themselves as "normal". Either way, you can judge for yourselves soon enough!
Check out the ArieScope site's listing of all the theaters where Frozen will be playing, and don’t forget to check out the film when it hits cinemas on February 5th!
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