Sunday, April 06, 2014

Another "Frozen": 3 skiers on a chairlift when everybody's gone home

There is another movie called “Frozen”, by Adam Green, which seems like another example of the ultimate set piece – three skiers stranded by a chairlift, with adherence to screenwriting 101 by creating enormous peril, and natural horror.

The setup is simple, and the film takes the first twenty minutes with a leisurely setup and one foreshadowing.  Two male friends Joe (Shawn Ashmore, from “Smallville” and “X-Men”) and Dan (Kevin Zegers) and a girl Parker (Emma Bell) bribe a chairlift operator at a Utah resort to let them on one last time.  Through miscommunication, the lift is shut down for the week (apparently this is a Sunday night and the place only operates weekends – don’t know how probable that is) and the three skiiers are stranded in a chair, a hundred feet in the air.

Yes, you can do a lot with this, although the prospects really seem grim and hopeless at first.  It doesn’t turn out well for Dan, who tries to jump, gets a gross compound thigh fracture and is eaten alive by wolves (starting with the gams).  Joe will demonstrate some “lesbian upper body strength) to get down, and Parker, left alone, will figure out a way to get down.  The atmosphere at times indeed conveys real horror.
In the DVD add-ons (Anchor Bay), Adam explains how the idea for the story came to him, and how he sold it to investors.  I thought it was mere manipulation.  Yet, I was a little intrigued to rent it, after the Winter Olympics, and the attention to skiing and snowboarding after Shaun White’s documentary film (Jan. 26, 2014, TV Blog).  The shooting was difficult, in bitter cold at 8000 feet.

The last of the DVD extras us a 52-minute featurette, "Beating the Mountain: Surviving 'Frozen'". 

The film doesn’t tell us the final disposition of the case.  Wouldn’t the ski place get sued?  Maybe a prosecution for criminal negligence?  Wouldn’t the ski place recheck the rides to make sure everyone was down? 

Of course, when you are imperiled because of someone else’s negligence, your loss is just a real.  Justice can’t make it right. 


The film played at Sundance in 2010. 

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