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Dead Snow (2009)

Tommy Wirkola's Dead SnowReviewed by Heather “The Horror Chick” Wixson

Starring Vegard Hoel, Stig Frode Henriksen, Charlotte Frogner, Jenny Skavlan, Jeppe Beck Laursen

Directed by Tommy Wirkola


I must say that lately overseas horror has been collectively kicking American horror’s ass in terms of keeping the genre fresh. In the last year alone we received such goodies as Let the Right One In, Timecrimes, and Martyrs. Well, now you can add “>Dead Snow to that list of foreign horror goodies as this flick is destined to become a cult classic.

The minute I heard the basic premise of Dead Snow, I was so there; Nazi zombies chasing down promiscuous and drunkard young adults so that they can off them in seriously brutal ways? Sign me up!

Dead Snow is the latest film from Norwegian director Tommy Wirkola and recently premiered in the States at the Sundance Film Festival as part of their “Park City After Midnight” series of films. Wirkola is best known in Norway for his first film Kill Buljo: The Movie, which was his parody of the Kill Bill films.

Tommy Wirkola's Dead SnowDead Snow’s premise starts back at the end of WWII, when Nazi soldiers in the village of Øksfjord were forced into the hills by an angry mob. In these hills the Nazis supposedly froze to death and were never to be seen again. Cut to over 60 years later, and a group of eight medical students that are going to take a ski trip, fueled mostly by beer and endorphins, to the very same hills. True to horror movie conventions, when the medical students start to misbehave, their actions raise some evil spirits, and soon enough you have snowmobiles fashioned with machine guns and undead Nazis being shot to pieces.

The fact that Wirkola has an eye for parody and paying homage is also very apparent in Dead Snow, as most of the movie seems to pay its respects to the Eighties slasher genre. However, it’s Wirkola’s ability to keep things moving with an approach that still feels fresh that keeps Dead Snow from feeling like just another retread of movies that have already been created.

Tommy Wirkola's Dead SnowThe film was excessively gory at times, which added to its campy charm, and it was even mentioned during the Sundance screening Q & A that over 450 liters of blood were used during the entire filming process. There are plenty of body organs on display, including some impressive intestine tracks, and the zombie make-up actually looks great.

The only thing that might give some viewers a sense of disconnect is that there is a switch in the movie’s tone about halfway through. I personally don’t mind when a movie decides to shake things up a bit, as I feel like sometimes a tone switch can really serve a purpose like in The Signal.

Overall, if your preferred brand of horror movie runs along the lines of something like Hatchet, where the gore factor is as fun as it is excessive, or if you just enjoy watching Nazi zombies hunt and be hunted, then Dead Snow is definitely the flick for you.

4 out of 5

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thehorrorchick

  • Evil Alien

    i don’t want to discount this film at all but why does this film get funded and something as potentially epic as Gorehound’s “Worst Case Scenario” get grounded? Though I’m off on a tangent, I am keenly reminded why I hate movie industry politics. Thanks, HorrorChick, for the review and I don’t know why I haven’t seen this yet.

  • Avid Fan

    This looks as fun as a truck load of dead babies, and in my book, thats a big-ass truck of fun.