Friday, March 15, 2013

Hypothermia (2010)

I normally like the films of Glass Eye Pix. Like many indie film studios these days, they make horror movies. However, they are different than say, Troma and the like. Unlike those studios, Glass Eye actually respects it's viewers intelligence and doesn't feel the need to douse them with bad jokes and cheap gore. They actually expect something from you, as films like "Stake Land" and "The House of the Devil" have shown. However, that's not to say that they can't strike out from time to time, and unfortunately, the James Felix McKenney film "Hypothermia" wastes it's potential.

Ray (Michael Rooker) is a simple, good guy who just wants to go ice fishing with his wife Helen (Blanche Baker), his son David (Ben Forester) and Dave's girlfriend Gina (Amy Chang.) However, it's not gonna be that easy. At first it's because of two strangers-Cote (Don Wood) and his son Steve (Greg Finley)-are blaring their music and disrupting everyone's peace. That turns out to be the least of Ray's problems though, as an anthropomorphic water beast is living under the frozen water, and it's not taking kindly to those around him that are human.

On paper, "Hypothermia" should work. The cast (with the exception of Wood, who seems to be channeling both Jason Sudekis and Diedrich Bader) all does a good job, the cinematography is fine, and it's heart is clearly in the right place. However, the film is largely boring. It clearly wants to mix 50's-70's creature features with the usual Glass Eye Pix dynamic, but the two don't gel. That's largely because much of the movie isn't all that suspenseful-it's mostly just the usual "10 Little Indians" scenario that you've seen many times before, with little there to spice things up. It also feels too simplistic plot wise-we never know where this thing came from, what it wants or why it's there, and the fact that even the conclusion feels both too simplistic and like a huge cop-out is pretty annoying. Oh, and while I'm normally for goofy looking monsters, this is a movie that's largely character driven and wants to rely more on suspense than gore, but the fact that the monster looks like this

Is actually kind of a letdown. A movie like this needs a creepy looking monster, not something that looks like a castaway from a Bill Rebane film.

As a whole, "Hypothermia" is a bit of a letdown. It has all the elements for a good creature feature, but it doesn't know what to do with those elements.

Rating: 3.5/10

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