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Saturday, December 25, 2010


Ever have "one of those weeks"? I had 2(TWO!!) winter-themed movies queued up on Netflix, and both managed to arrive late. I was ready to throw in the towel and just re-watch Session 9, but both arrived (FINALLY) in the mail 2 days ago. Yay. It's a Christmas miracle. Anyway, without further ado, I shall pop in the first film, Frozen, so let's get our eggs nogged and snuggle up to our favorite ho-ho-ho's. I added SPOILERS to the figgy pudding, so be warned! Oh, and I promise to watch the next one IMMEDIATELY after I sign off, to make up for all of these stupid delays.

The first thing I noticed about Frozen is that it's directed by Adam Green, who also directed Hatchet and Hatchet II. That's a good sign, as Hatchet was a fun, crazy slasher flick. and the second one is on my queue. So, let's keep our fingers crossed!

The premise is deceptively simple: 3 friends on a ski vacation are left stranded on a ski lift as the place closes for the night. Will they survive? Was it done on purpose? Is there a kid somewhere in the film demanding 2 dollars from John Cusack?(wasn't part of that set at a ski resort? I may be thinking of the wrong film...)
There's Parker, the cute perky blond; Dan, a smooth-talking guy with charisma to spare; and Joe, aka "Lynch", a guy who looks a little scruffy, but also seems decent enough. The trio of friends have come to this particular slope because Lynch persuades them into thinking the girl who runs the lift has a thing for him. The plan is to let him charm her, in the hope that all 3 can ride the lift for free.
The plan is flawless, save for the fact that the lift operator is a mean-looking guy, instead of some cute bubblehead.

After a quick discussion, Lynch and Dan convince Parker to flirt with the guy until he accepts a bribe. She starts up a conversation with the guy, but he seems pretty immune to her charms.

While Parker's using her feminine wiles to get her way, Lynch and Dan are having a heated debate over why Parker's even there to begin with. It seems that, since she started dating Dan, Lynch and Dan's other buddies haven't seen him around as much. Anyway, Parker gets them all in, but is criticized when the guys discover that she bribed the lift guy with $100, the full amount they gave her. Oops. She was apparently supposed to "ask for change". For a bribe?

Well, whatever. It worked, because they all get to ride up the slope. During the ascent, Parker and Lynch start in on each other. Parker's romance-talk and smoking habit bother Lynch, and his sarcastic attitude and alpha male behavior bug her. As Dan tries to keep the peace, the lift suddenly creaks to a halt. Ooooh, here we go!

Wait, nope, after several other patrons complain, it starts up again. Anyway, they all ski and ride snowboards and blah blah blah, 'til they're nearly worn to a frazzle. Lynch tries to hook up with a cute girl whose skis keep tripping her up, but he nearly gets torn apart by her boyfriend. He defuses the situation by playing dumb, and charms the girl into breaking up with the boyfriend later.

After they find out about the break-up, the friends decide to take one more trip up the slope, but the lift operator refuses. He tells them that some rough weather is moving in, and that he can't risk it. When they remind him that he was given $100, he decides to allow them up one last time. Gee, I wonder what will happen?

Well, as it turns out, a couple of things happen...First, the lift operator is told by a fellow employee that the boss wants to see him. He remembers to tell the other guy that there are still 3 skiers up there, though. Phew!

Oops. It turns out that, as Lynch, Parker and Dan are going up in the lift, they see 3 skiers rushing downhill. When the new lift operator sees them coming, he throws the switch. Talk about bad luck!

Stranded, the trio don't realize at first that they were forgotten. They assume that the lift was stopped due to technical problems, or maybe a skiing accident. They even exchange gruesome ski stories, just to freak Parker out. Once they realize that they were left in mid-air, they try yelling for help, but it's too late by then.

As the day turns to night, they try to come up with some escape plans. Parker suggests that it might be possible to jump from their height with the snowboard, ride down, and call someone. The guys, on the other hand, think it's risky, and still hold out hope for employees to show up and get them down, possibly with ladders.

When it gets darker, they suddenly remember something else: it's Sunday. That means that, theoretically, they could be up in the air until the following Friday. As that dawns on them, Parker starts to laugh. It turns out that she has to pee. As she and Lynch argue over how THAT is going to work, he reminds her that they will all have to figure out a way to go to the bathroom, because they won't be able to hold it all in for 5 days straight. To prove his point, Lynch pees right then and there.

Well, at least it can't get worse...until the storm starts. Damn, the lift operator was right, and the storm is a doozy! Lynch zips back up, lowers the safety bar again, and they all sit tight while ice, snow and rain batter them. Makes me want to take a trip to Aspen!

As they continue to wait for the storm to die down, a pair of headlights appear. They get excited as the vehicle starts driving toward them, and shout and wave with frantic desperation. From inside his plow, the guy can't hear them. Geez dummies, try throwing something down to get his attention!

Wow, they heard me! Dan throws his goggles straight down in front of the plow. Sadly, he does this while the driver is looking at the rear of the vehicle, trying to back up. Angry now(and afraid), all 3 start throwing stuff: skis, goggles, poles, you name it. One item bounces off the windshield, but when the driver looks ahead again, he sees nothing and chalks it up to hail or something. Dumbass!

As the night goes on and the temperature drops, Lynch tries to keep them distracted from the cold by coming up with inane lists: Top 3 Breakfast Cereals, Worst 3 Blind Dates, stuff like that. When Parker loses one of her gloves, Dan turns to reassure her and sees what could be the start of frostbite on her face. He announces that he's going to jump, then get help, but the other 2 urge him to stay.

Dan jumps. He lands flat on his back, and at first it appears that he might be dead. The good news? He sits up. The bad news? Both legs are broken, so badly that the splintered bones are protruding through his pants. Oh, and he's bleeding out---FAST.
Parker tries to throw him her scarf to him to help staunch the bleeding, but it flies away into a high tree branch. Lynch balls up his scarf to throw, and it lands closer, but in FRONT of poor Dan. After several attempts, much agonized screaming and many tears, Dan finally leans over his broken, splintered legs enough to snatch up the scarf. and ties it to one of his legs.

Of course, there's still the OTHER leg...Parker offers to toss her coat, which, while a sweet gesture, is incredibly stupid. Lynch comes up with a dangerous plan of his own: he wants to try to pull himself across the cables, until he can get to a safe jumping point. After considering it, they revise the idea: he's going to cross the cables to the nearest wire-pole, and climb down to the ground to help Dan.

Before they can watch Lynch kill himself on wires, they all hear howling. The wind, perhaps? Nope, it's much worse: wolves. And thanks to Captain Numbnuts, there's now a blood-scent to follow. Great thinking, Dan. Hope you enjoy being eaten alive, dude. Dan starts to freak out, and Parker tells him it could be worse. When asked how, she tells him that he could have been eaten by the Sarlaac in the Star Wars trilogy.(that's Star Wars, Empire, and Jedi...I refuse to acknowledge the other 3 until technology is invented to make them suck less!)

Lynch prepares to scale the wire, but it's blocked by a layer of ice. As he and Parker chip away the ice, fragments of it start falling toward Dan, who covers his face. When he lowers his hands, he comes face to face with a snarling, growling wolf. While he panics, Parker throws something, and scares the wolf away. It's right about then that Dan realizes that he no longer has feeling in his legs. Uh oh.

More bad news, but this time it's up in the ski-lift chair. Frostbite is settling in on both Parker and Lynch. Determined to be brave, Lynch stands on the seat, and starts his rope-climbing idea. A short distance in, he starts to feel the wire cutting into his hands. Then he glances down and rushes to pull himself back into the chair with Parker. When she asks him what was wrong, he tells her not to look down.

Parker looks down. Below the chair, wolves have begun to circle Dan. He begs Parker and Lynch to look away, then just covers his head with his arms. The wolves tear him apart. As he screams to death, his friends try not to watch the carnage. They still see too much, and both start screaming and crying.

Later, they fight over who was responsible for Dan's death. Parker blames Lynch, because he didn't jump first. Lynch tells her that the death was a direct result of her dating Dan in the first place. They both shout, then cry, then console each other. Then Parker gets upset thinking about her dog, She imagines that the dog, while waiting for her to return, will starve to death. They eventually both calm down enough to fall asleep.

The next morning, Parker wakes up and discovers that she gripped the railing sometime during the night. As a result, her hand is now frozen, welded to the safety bar. When she does finally pry her hand loose, a whole lot of flesh stays on the bar. Her cries wake Lynch up, and he sees her hand. He also sees that her frostbite is much worse, and warns her again about scratching it. Oh, and she finally peed, all over herself.

Realizing that they won't last until the weekend, Lynch decides to try to cross the cable again. He pulls himself up, and part of the mechanism holding the chair up breaks, making the chair swing sideways. Lynch pulls himself across the wire to the next chair and rests in it.

Now alone in her section of the lift, Parker tries to keep as still as possible. At about this point, the wolves return. When they see Lynch about to make his next move, they begin to circle underneath his position. He shouts over to Parker, asking her to reach one of the remaining ski poles, and try to throw it as close to the climbing post as she can. She does, but it's not very close.

Lynch climbs out of his new seat and makes his way to the post. As the wolves watch, he actually makes it! Quickly, he starts climbing down, exciting the wolves by losing his footing once. When he gets to the ground, he makes a mad dash for the snowboard and begins to strap it on.

That's all the distraction the wolves need. Two move into position, and one of them pounces on Lynch. He tries to roll away, and struggles to reach the pole Parker threw. As the wolf keeps clawing at him, Lynch gets the pole and surprises the wolf with a sharp jab. Both wolves retreat back into the trees.

Lynch gets to his feet, and starts coasting down the trail, while Parker gets excited. A few moments later, the wolves follow him, and Parker screams for him to get to safety. There is no response, and Parker prays that he made it safely away.

The rest of the day passes with no activity, and that night Parker assumes the worst. The next morning she decides to try to do what Dan and Parker did, but she has no real plan. She sees that the last wheel holding the chair up is close to breaking, and she climbs down the chair. The wheel starts to snap, and as Parker dangles under the chair, it plummets. Luckily, it hangs on by a wire, and the wire stretches enough to the point where she thinks it might be safe to attempt a jump.
Parker takes her leap of faith, just seconds before the last wire snaps. She lands safely on the snow, but the chair falls as well, and injures one of her feet. Ignoring the pain, Parker straps on some skis and takes off down the trail.

A short way downhill, she sees the wolves eating Lynch. They start to growl at her, but the meal of Lynch distracts them, and she gets away. Once she gets to the bottom, Parker staggers past the ski lodge, heading for the main road. She sees a car, but it sails right past her, and she collapses just as she reaches the road.

While she lays there, dead or unconscious, another car arrives. This motorist stops, and he pulls her to her feet. After making sure that she's alive, the driver gets her into the car and tells her that the hospital is 10 minutes away. Parker just stares at her reflection in the sideview mirror. THE END

Phew! While not a slasher film in the least, Frozen was definitely harrowing to watch. The performances were quite convincing, and the tension was thicker than the ice! As a horror film, I'd give it a solid 5 killer trees out of 5. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

And what did I learn from Frozen?
-Ski resorts are all deathtraps.
-Never try jumping off of a ski lift, your legs will break and animals will eat you!
-The need to pee and rescue your starving puppy can give you instant bravery!

Later this weekend, I'll do the other movie Netflix sent me, something called Santa Claws. Sounds awful enough to be pretty fun. I hope. Happy holidays!