A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Frozen is a horror/thriller from director Adam Green, whose previous movie was the comic slasher movie Hatchet. This one is a good deal more serious; it's filled with very effective, excruciating suspense, but it's also not particularly smart. It's one of those movies in which the audience is usually two jumps ahead of the characters. The movie has its fair share of gruesome blood and gore, especially in the second half. Language is fairly strong, with more than one use of "f--k" and many uses of "s--t." The characters, all college students, smoke cigarettes, and there are references to pot. Viewers may find themselves very anxious, and very annoyed at the same time. It's an intense movie, but also fairly mild compared to many other entries in the horror genre.
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What's the story?
College student Dan (Kevin Zegers), his best friend Joe (Shawn Ashmore), and his girlfriend Parker (Emma Bell) go for a weekend ski trip. Since Parker is a beginner, they spend most of the day on the bunny hills. As night -- and a storm -- approach, they decide for one last big run. Unfortunately, due to a series of misunderstandings, and the fact that they bribed their way onto the lift rather than buying tickets, they are left stranded halfway up the mountain as the resort closes down for the week. The lift is terribly high, and it's terribly cold. The cable is razor-sharp, and there are wolves in the woods. How will the trio get out of this chilling situation?
Is it any good?
Director Adam Green broke into the horror genre with the comic slasher film Hatchet, which was made with just the right attitude, and it's a good deal of fun. His follow-up Frozen is more serious and not as much fun. The suspense is definitely there, and it can be excruciating. But it's almost an empty exercise, as there's not much meat to the film itself.
For one thing, the characters never seem very smart, and they remain almost constantly two jumps behind the audience. (Some of the situations they get themselves into can be irritating.) Additionally, the idea of a stuck lift chair isn't very visually dynamic. So Green relies on a lot of sitting-and-talking sequences to break up the suspense, and while these are sometimes pleasant, they're not exactly Shakespeare. In other words, the movie has a good flow, and it understands how to generate thrills, but the characters, situation, and dialogue are stretched a bit thin.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the ways in which this problem could have been averted. Could better communication have helped? Better listening?
The three characters in the film have an awkward relationship. The two boys are best friends, and the girlfriend of one boy is trying not to come between them. Have you ever experienced this kind of romantic tension in real life?
- In theaters: February 5, 2010
- On DVD or streaming: September 28, 2010
- Cast: Emma Bell, Kevin Zegers, Shawn Ashmore
- Director: Adam Green
- Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
- Genre: Horror
- Run time: 93 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: some disturbing images and language
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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