Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Frozen Movie Poster Image
Chilling tale is gory, but less so than other horror movies.
  • R
  • 2010
  • 93 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 9 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 24 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The film's main point is that bad things can happen to anyone at any time. These three characters did bribe the lift guy rather than buying lift tickets, but their punishment for that crime seems very severe. The characters generally show more stupidity than they do bravery, teamwork, or problem solving.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The movie goes out of its way to show that these characters have their good and bad sides. They pay a bribe instead of buying tickets, they smoke cigarettes and pot, use bad language, and are not in totally trusting relationships. But we also learn that one of them once fell in love, one of them has a puppy, and that they have devoted friendships. The fact that they do not deal well with this crisis tips the balance into the negative.


There's a brief "pushing" fight on solid ground near the film's beginning. Later, a character jumps from the stuck chair lift and breaks his legs on the ground below. His legs are askew and bones stick out. Wolves devour him, but mostly off-camera. A character's hand is stuck to the frozen bar, and we see the skin peeling back as it is pulled off. A character gets severe frostbite to the face, with peeling skin. A character slices up his hands on the cable, and we see some blood. Finally, we see a bloody corpse in the snow.


Two of the main characters are boyfriend and girlfriend, and they sometimes speak in intimate ways, but mostly playful and very little that's sexual. (She complains because he calls her by her real name, rather than a pet name.) In one scene, the boyfriend unzips the girl's jacket a few inches so that she can flirt with the chair lift guy and get cheap lift tickets. Another character meets a girl and flirts with her.


We hear more than one use of "f--k," plus many, many uses of "s--t" and "ass." Other words include "dick," "hell," "douchebag," "asshole," "retarded," "piss," "Goddamn," and "oh my God."


We see a poster for Newbury Comics near the film's beginning, and one character mentions his favorite breakfast cereals, "Crunch Berries," "Cinnamon Toast Crunch," and "Lucky Charms."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One of the main characters is called a "pothead," and he brags about smoking a lot of pot, although he is never seen doing so onscreen. Another main character smokes cigarettes, as does a secondary character. (She bums a cigarette from him.)

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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byrachel b. May 22, 2020


Adult Written bywonder dove January 11, 2013


This movie was quite good! My sister who hates every horror movie said it was the best, creepiest movie she ever saw. I find it very sad especially in one parti... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byHarmonySpirit February 3, 2020

Eh, it's an alright thriller

Parents need to know that this is not the 2013 animated Disney musical, AT ALL. It's a thriller about these three college-age kids who go on a snowboarding... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bydidsomeonesaydiamond December 31, 2013

A gory and tragic thriller with no supernatural elements

Well... I'm not sure what to say about this. I don't know if I liked this movie. I do not regret watching it, but I can't actually say it was goo... Continue reading

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?

  • How did the movie's violence affect you? Was it scary? Which was the most horrifying part? Did you notice if some of the violent events took place onscreen, or offscreen?

  • 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?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love chills and thrills

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