Directed by Anders Banke
Distributed by Genius Products, LLC.
All right, I know the dual taglines on the cover ain’t going to sell you on this one. The premise, which on the surface sounds like a rip off of 30 Days of Night, likely won’t do it either. Hell, even if I told you it was the first vampire movie from Sweden, how much would you care? Nada.
But, if you factor in that I hate vampire movies as a rule, and I really dug the hell out of Frostbitten, is that enough?
After a rather long prologue, our story kicks in when a mother and her teenage daughter arrive in their new home, a small town in the north of Sweden where they experience the joys of polar night, aka a month of darkness. Fuck. That. Anyway, the girl isn’t thrilled about it, but soon changes her tune when she’s invited to a party almost immediately upon arrival at her new school. You know how kids are with popularity these days.
The mom has moved them there for the chance to work with a famed geneticist at the town’s local hospital, a field she finds fascinating and wants to learn from the best about. Of course, we’re shown almost right away that said doctor has some nefarious ways about him, not the least of which is the comatose girl he’s feeding mysterious pills to when no one’s looking.
One of the interns gets his hands on said pills and, because he’s young and thinks he’s immortal, pops one of them without doing any serious investigation as to what the hell they actually are. This leads to a sudden and embarrassing outbreak of vampirism, which manages to find its way to the local high school party in the form of an entire box of the aforementioned pills. Chaos ensues.
Though it’s not a perfect film by any right, Frostbitten has just enough off the wall, semi-80’s sexy comedy style humor mixed with a good dosage of well-done effects and plenty of red stuff to make you forget any shortcomings you’ll come across. Sure it’s not the most original idea on Earth, but honestly the fact that it’s dark for so long where the film takes place has no real bearing on the story, which I was happy about. Like I said the humor is just weird, but effective for its own reasons, one of which for me may have been that I wasn’t expecting it.
Since it’s the first movie for director Banke and the first vampire movie to be shot in Sweden, one would assume that there’d be a lot of issues with bad effects, both real and CG. Such is not the case. In fact, some of the CG in Frostbitten is good enough to be called “seamless”, especially when the final Big Bad makes himself known. The smart move was to use CG to enhance practical effects, and it worked like a charm here. Nothing like bad CG to take you out of a movie.
Genius nabbed the film for DVD release and brought with it a good chunk of features, though nothing that’ll task your brain too hard.
The primary feature is the 26-minute “Behind the Scenes” featurette, which plays out a lot like a US EPK (Electronic Press Kit) and doesn’t given nearly enough info about how the movie was actually made for my tastes. Still, it is worth a look to get some insight into the realities of the conditions Frostbitten was shot in (I’ll give you a hint: really fucking cold) and what some of the actors suffered through for their art.
There are two deleted scenes as well. The first finds two cops who figure into the overall movie a few times; one of them is relating a story to the other about some alleged incident with a dog being shot. It’s supposed to be funny, but it just didn’t work overall so I can see why it was cut. The other scene featured one of the secondary characters coming face to face with the vamps for the first time. No biggie.
A trailer and some bloopers are all that’s left, and you can skip the latter; none of them are very funny.
Don’t go in expecting high art or a hardcore horror film, and you’ll likely enjoy Frostbitten, too. It’s got just the right amount of horror and humor that most American films get the mixture wrong on. The features on the DVD are decent enough, so you’ve really got nothing to loose. I will warn you, the Swedish language is a bit distracting if you’re not used to it, but don’t you dare watch it dubbed!
4 out of 5
3 out of 5
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