Three friends go on a ski weekend and want to get one last run in before heading back home. The only problem is that it’s getting late and a storm is headed their way. No worries, they’ll be really fast about it. The ski lift attendant finally agrees, they grab their seats on the ski lift and up they go.
Unfortunately, through a series of random circumstances the ski lift gets shut down, the lights get turned off, all the workers head for home unaware that our three heroes have been left stranded high above the ground as the temperature begins to drop.
Frozen is similar to the helplessly floating survival thriller Open Water. It’s a different locale and is an effective little suspense/survival movie. The premise is set up well and writer/director Adam Green convincingly makes us feel the cold the characters have to endure. Throughout it does feel like a real situation they’ve been placed in and it never feels like it’s simply a trio of actors sitting on a set. The film was shot practically and it’s quite effective at selling the whole scenario of the movie.
There are some pretty decent nail-biting scenes that come up. The three actors – Kevin Zegers, Shawn Ashmore and Emma Bell are all likable enough. Green tries to flesh these three out a bit more so they’re just not one-dimensional characters, which is good since the movie basically consists of watching them sit on this ski lift and waiting along with them. So you have to give them some interesting stuff to say and create some dynamics between the three of them that will engage us. They don’t.
While the the actors do a good job, there’s no real drama for them to play between one another besides trying to survive. The personal conflicts between them that begin to bubble don’t really help with any added tension to the movie. There’s not enough effective personal drama to work out while being trapped and things started to really get stretched to fill up the time.
They’re given some hackneyed backstories, which we awkwardly learn about in clunky scenes between the tension. They’re not very interesting and feel crowbarred in. So other than yelling for help, looking cold and muttering “Oh my God”, the three don’t have much important things to say to us or each other.
This is a creative little “what would you do” premise. While watching you and your friends would question how they would react, what mistakes the characters are making, why wouldn’t they try ‘such and such’.
There are a few fun gross out moments, along with a few tense segments and Frozen turns into a fun frosty thriller.
Things begin to get somewhat ridiculous and unbelievable towards the end and I’ll admit it got me laughing, which I don’t think was the goal of this movie. For a good portion of it had me in its chilly grip. It’s an engaging ‘trapped survival’ film for awhile. It’s just too bad the characters weren’t as compelling as the situation they were placed in.