Wednesday, February 24, 2010

'DEAD SNOW' Review

OK folks, here it is!!! The 2009 Norwegian horror comedy directed by Tommy Wirkola. The film that 6.6 out of 10 little golden IMDB stars approve of. A film that depending on your familiarity with the fairly new sub genre of Nazi Zombies, will either thrill you to death or bore you to... Awe hell, this one will thrill you to death!!! Dead Snow is a raucous, deeply atmospheric, gore fest. Dead Snow is a horror comedy that may take a teensy weensy bit to get it's snowmobile's engine purring; but once it does, it showers the viewer in equal parts blood, snow, and lower intestines. Dead Snow is quiet simply, a bloody little mess of a film that delivers.

The movie opens with a woman being chased through the snow covered forests of Norway. She is finally caught and torn to pieces by a partially unseen attacker. We then pick up with seven medical students on Easter vacation. They arrive at their cabin which is a 45-minute walk from the road where they have left their cars. Said cabin just happens to be owned by Sara, girlfriend of Vegard. She has been skiing across the mountains to meet them, but has not yet arrived. Probably because she was the poor lass who got shredded in the films prologue.

The kids drink some beer, listen to music, and have a grand old time; until a mysterious hiker arrives. He tells them the dark history of the mountainous region they are vacationing in. It seems that during World War II, a bunch of Nazis abused and tortured the local people, stealing anything they had of value (mostly gold jewelry and coins). Upon the defeat of the German armies, these Nazi soldiers were driven into the mountains where they remained, never heard from again. Although this comes off as a bit of forced exposition, it is easily forgiven because of the delicious chaos that ensues. You see, unfortunately for our young med students, a cache of that stolen Nazi treasure lies beneath the floor boards of their vacation cabin. It goes without saying, the zombified Nazi soldiers want it back. Queue joyous sights and sounds of slash and slaughter.

Although VERY reminiscent of the 2008 film Outpost, I'm going to leave that alone. I choose to place this film in the company of other more recent releases like: The Cottage, Severance, Black Sheep, Hatchet, and maybe even Feast. Not so much for it's subject matter, but for the themes it rides with and that kinda sorta nostalgic feeling it evokes from the viewer. You know, when movies could be fun, gory, disturbing, sexy, dark, and dumb all at the same time. When we didn't care about total plausibility of story, we just wanted to be entertained. When a film was competently acted, nicely shot, relied on real yucky practical effects, and wasn't mean spirited or nihilistic. Dead Snow has a heart, whether it's in it's chest cavity, or lying in a pile of steaming innards is irrelevant. Because of this fact, it both brought a smile to my face and thrilled me to know that fun, gory, disturbing, sexy, dark, and dumb films are still being made.

Dead Snow
Director: Tommy Wirkola
Starring: Vegar Hoel and Charlotte Frogner 

8/10 Farmhouses ~ 
by Chris Conduit

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