Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cold Prey (2006)

The thing about slasher movies is that it sometimes feels like it can be hard to find one that stands out in today's world. While movies like "Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon", "The Hills Run Red" and "High Tension" have managed to stand out in the crowd, others like "Dark Ride" and "Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet" failed to do anything for me. So, that's why I'm thankful for "Cold Prey", which actually managed to keep me invested.

The plot is simple: Five friends-Jannicke (Ingrid Bolsø Berdal), Morten (Rolf Kristian Larsen), Eirik (Tomas Alf Larsen), Mikael (Endre Martin Midtstigen) and Ingunn (Viktoria Winge) go on a snowboarding vacation when Morten breaks his leg. They end up taking shelter at an abandoned hotel, and discover said hotel was closed in the 70's due to the disappearance of the manager's son. Unfortunately, somebody still lives there...

Okay, so the story is nothing out of the ordinary, and it certainly isn't "...the most perfect slasher movie" that one critic called it. However, it's what the movie does do that counts, and thankfully, it gets a lot right, such as characters. While nothing spectacular as far as characterization goes, it is refreshing to see a slasher movie that relies more on investing time with the kids, and what do ya know, they are actually pretty likable. A note to future horror writers and directors: actually give the audience victims they actually care about. It also helps that directer Roar Uthaug (who in spite of his name, was not raised by bears) is a fine director, and manages to make the most out of the frozen Norwegian landscape (with Magnus Beite's score complementing it well), as well as understanding how things like suspense work.

Speaking of which, those hoping for a slasher movie with lots of gore and creative kills might be let down by this movie. This is a slasher movie that is more interested in creating a sense of fear and suspense instead of dousing the audience with blood. I applaud that though,as I find it refreshing to see someone make a slasher movie that's more about suspense than buckets of red stuff. That out of the way, it must be said that actress Winge does look fine in a tank top and panties, if I do say so myself.

For horror fans who want something more character and scare driven in their slasher movies, "Cold Prey" is a pleasant surprise. Check it out if you want something different in the endless run of modern slasher films.

Rating:8.5/10

Also, while there's been horror in the country before, this seems to have opened a new wave of horror in Norway, with two sequels to this movie, as well as the Zombie-Comedy "Dead Snow", the backwoods flick "Manhunt", and the underrated psychological tale "Hidden" serving as a few examples.

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