- Release Date: 12/18/2012
- Running Time: 95 minutes
- Directed By: Andrew Hyatt
- Starring: Britt Morgan, Noah Segan, Seth David Mitchell
- Author: Andrew Hyatt
THE FROZEN comes out on DVD today, December 18th! To trumpet its release, we have a review of the film. Enjoy.
Predictably, a movie called THE FROZEN opens on a snow swept landscape. Waiting. Waiting for Britt Morgan’s (Debbie Pelt of TRUE BLOOD fame) Emma, who’s fretting over a pregnancy test in the bathroom. It’s positive. Her boyfriend, Mike (Seth David Mitchell), comes in and says they’re all packed and ready to go. Emma says nothing of the test, and on they go, the two of them off for a romantic camping trip. Or so Mike plans; Emma’s in a sour mood and not really the outdoorsy type (the cliches are there: she rolls her eyes at the tent, she shivers at the thought of an outdoor toilet). She’s constantly nagging and complaining, while Mike is a complete wet blanket, albeit a really nice wet blanket.
Mike went all out for this trip, renting a snowmobile so they can traverse the snow and find a nice, remote, private spot in the gritty wilderness. Clearly, he doesn’t really know what he’s doing, but the effort and positive thinking is there. They reach an area where the vehicle can go no longer, and their camp site is still a few miles away. Mike Hansel-and-Gretel’s their way through the forest, marking the tree branches with red tape. It’s a smart move made by the character, one of the very few made in this film.
Along the way they find a skinned, bloody, hanging deer. Emma is rightfully freaked, but Mike attempts to calm her down: “this is what people do.” No sir, they do not. Once they’ve hitched the tent, Mike wants to go see the scenery, to take the snowmobile out. Emma doesn’t care, but for a brief honeymoon period, they’re enjoying the vistas, nature and each other as they glide across the icy hilltops. You know the filmmaker (Andrew Hyatt) is setting us up for something, and, like clockwork, they crash the snowmobile, wrecking the vehicle and their day. Now they’re in the middle of nowhere, far from their tent, further from their car, and not the best at navigation. Plus, nightfall is nigh and the underutilized, mute hick (Noah Segan) looms.
For the rest of the film, there are false starts, brief glimpses of what may constitute as “startling imagery,” dolls, babies, loud noises, and a lot of sleeping. When Mike inexplicably goes missing, the film gets better, as we see Emma struggle to cope on her own in the wilderness, and we get some jumpy moments. Sometimes expecting it makes you start that much more.
There are some creepy visages, but most of the time, you’re wanting the filmmaker to go further. It’s almost as if the film is afraid to make you afraid, by retreating far too early, or using the “bad dream” approach far too often. The twist at the end may catch a few off guard, but it’s one of those twists that cheapens the movie, and her journey of self-discovery, however slight. Most of what comes before the ending no longer makes much sense, and nothing really happens regardless. Britt Morgan definitely has the requisite chops to carry the film, but there’s not much here to carry, other than a lot of kindling for horror movie cliches.