Thursday, 28 March 2013

Cold Prey (2006)

It shouldn't be so difficult to make a good slasher movie. Fans of the sub-genre will know that all you need is a bit of style, some inventiveness and a good killer. And if you can throw some gratuitous nudity into the mix, then all the better. Yet the seemingly neverending stream of bad slasher movies may make people think that something REALLY special is needed in this day and age to sate fans of the sub-genre. Thankfully, movies like Cold Prey come along to remind everyone how simple things can be. I'm not saying that Cold Prey didn't take some considerable talent to make or that it was a walk in the park for those involved, but I am saying that it provides solid entertainment and some decent set-pieces without rewriting the rulebook for the slasher movie.

Cold Prey is all about a bunch of people who go on a snowboarding vacation. They get up a mountain and start having fun only for one of them (Morten, played by Rolf Kristian Larsen) to spoil it all by falling badly and breaking his leg. A fall leading to a broken leg is bad at the worst of times, but in an isolated environment with such low temperatures it could spell disaster. Luckily, there's a hotel nearby so they head to it and get inside. You might be able to guess where things are heading now. Yes, the hotel is unoccupied, or so they think.

Directed by Roar Uthaug, who also wrote the thing with Thomas Moldestad and Martin Sundland (from an idea by Jan Eirik Langoen and Magne Lyngner), Cold Prey exceeds expectations thanks to the mix of likable characters, tense moments and, despite the horror genre requirements, a certain amount of plausibility.

The acting from all involved - the main five players being Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, Rolf Krisitan Larsen, Tomas Alf Larsen, Endre Martin Midtstigen and Viktoria Winge - is pretty good, the script isn't that bad either and everything just feels as if it was put together with a bit of care and intelligence. The environment helps a lot. The isolation factor, so crucial to many horrors of this kind, never feels too contrived and the fact that the external temperature is so cold also keeps the characters in the area they end up so desperately wanting to leave.

So while it may not be the most original horror movie that you will see, this remains an entertaining watch that still manages to feel surprisingly fresh. And now I also have to check out the sequels.


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