Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Viktoria Winge, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, Rolf Kristian Larsen, Endre Martin Midtstigen, Tomas Alf Larsen
Directed by Roar Uthaug
Distributed by Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Cold Prey also known as Fritt Vilt in its native land of Norway has garnered an amazing amount of praise over the last couple of years. Some have even referred to it as “The most perfect slasher movie ever made”, while others claimed that it was “Spectacularly scary”. When Anchor Bay announced they were releasing it here in the States I was elated. Now after watching it, I cannot help but wonder what all of the fuss was about. Before we get to all that, let’s tackle the story.
A group of snowboarders head up to a deserted mountain to have some fun. One of them ends up breaking their leg and as a result puts a kink in everyone’s good time. Good thing for them they find an abandoned ski lodge close by which looks about as menacing during the winter as The Overlook Hotel did in The Shining. Of course they take shelter for the night with the hopes of getting help the next day, but guess what? They’re not alone. This place is the lair of a pick axe swinging killer dressed in winter gear. *cues spooky music*
Let me say this right off the bat — this film looks and sounds incredible, and it is acted amazingly well. So why was I so damned bored? I’ve heard of slow burns, but this was a slow freeze, and every bit as painful to sit through at times as that sounds. Over forty-minutes pass before the kills begin and when they do they’re nothing more than quick and mostly bloodless cutaways. In fact all anyone really does in this flick is wander around and bicker. Then wander some more. This goes for the killer as well. At one point during the films climax he enters the room and stands about three feet away from our final girl and boy in plain sight. Instead of attacking them he waits for our duo to finish their conversation about who should run, and who should make a stand. How polite. Not to mention inept. Spoilers follow the next paragraph so you may want to skip it if you don’t want the ending ruined for you.
Once all is said and done, our killer’s master plan seems to be just to throw all the bodies into a deep snow covered ditch. Yes, a ditch. Of course final girl is still alive and ends up turning the tables on him. How he didn’t realize this chick was still kicking is beyond me. Anyway … as our heroine looks down at the bodies strewn about below an American heavy metal song begins playing and we hear some dude shouting the lyrics “All my friends are deeead! All my friends are deeeaadd!” I haven’t laughed that hard in quite some time. Wow. Really?
Anchor Bay realizes that this movie has its fans so they’ve delivered a hefty package extras wise. There’s an alternate ending, two short films, and several featurettes that take you behind the action or as I saw it, lack thereof. Everything you could have possibly wanted to know or learn about is present and accounted for. I actually found some of it to be more entertaining than the film itself. It made me want to like the flick more, but I just cannot bring myself to. I was praying for Yeti attacks during the lulls in the action for god’s sake!
Cold Prey left me cold. Spectacularly scary? Not even close. I spent more time wondering when something was going to happen than I did being engrossed in the movie. The perfect slasher film? Hardly. Every slasher film, bloodless or not, has at least one memorable kill. This barely has one memorable moment. The only thing that elevates it from being just another mindless generic stalk-and-slash are its production values and performances. Take that for what it’s worth.
3 out of 5
4 1/2 out of 5
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