A Norwegian Slasher Flick That Follows The Usual Formulas and Goes Nowhere...
Apr 5, 2010
I have heard such great things about “Cold Prey”, so when I saw this under amazon’s “vine program”, I immediately decided to pick it out. Also, known as “Fritt Vilt” in its native Norwegian roots, the film had very promising reviews in Europe (?) and has been referred to as “the most perfect slasher film ever made”--well, whoever, said those things about this film deserves a “Shadow Kick“ on the chest.
Five friends decide to go up the mountains for a little snowboarding. One of their number, Morten (Rolf Kristian Larsen) breaks his leg while doing some stunts and they end up taking shelter from a blizzard in an abandoned ski lodge until the storm breaks. The five friends try to make the most out of their problems, but unfortunately, they’re not alone. A huge killer with a pick ax is bent on killing all of them--oh, did I mention the killer is wearing winter gear?
Despite what the dvd back cover says, “Cold Prey” is just another “helplessly trapped by an insane killer” movie. The film does have some nice cinematography and the deserted ski lodge does exude somewhat of an intimidating and ominous atmosphere. The colors are intentionally muted to exude some creepiness and the acting is fairly decent. Well, Ingrid Bolso Bordal (who plays Jannicke) is actually the actress who steals the show, but unfortunately she was given so little to work with. The acting wasn’t bad, but the film definitely carried too much obligatory dry dialogue.
The problems with the film begins because it is so badly paced and needed a lot of editing, this film would have been better as a 60 minute movie. Nothing much happens, the time is all spent talking and walking around, and when the first victim is killed, it was almost so predictable and the kill scenes are almost bloodless with the bare minimum in violence. There are also a lot of wandering around and talking even after the killer’s presence is known. Now this wouldn’t be a bad thing if it managed to generate suspense, but sadly it doesn’t. A slasher has to have an abundance of gore and blood--failing that maybe suspenseful elements might save the film. “Cold Prey” lacks two important aspects of a successful “slasher“. I buy into a bloodless kill, but every movie with these kind of elements has to have at least ONE memorable scene and this film lacks such a memorable sequence to make it stand out.
To add another nail to its coffin, the main antagonist is very uninteresting. We see him committing obscene acts of murder, so what is the motivation? His past is partly revealed in the form of newspaper clippings but none of them seemed very believable. An angry killer with a bleak past which was revealed at the last act but it felt like a cheap attempt at a twist, which ended up as a throw-away detail. I also hoped for the best that our killer may be a cannibal, but his motivations is left to the viewers’ perspective, and what he does with the bodies is just so--dull?
Anyway, this film had some potential but none of them was realized. The film is a just a throwback from 90’s slashers (thanks, D-Willie!) . I thought maybe something got lost in translation since I watched this in its original language and maybe the English Subtitles were bad but I thought Anchor Bay would know how to release a good Dvd. Regardless, the film never gives any credible scares (I would’ve been happy with cheap ones) and thrills are virtually none-existent. I can excuse a plot with cliché, so long as the experience is thrilling, but now that I’ve seen “Cold Prey”, the supposed movie “that left Europe screaming” may have been folks screaming to get their money back. (maybe Americans are just so used to slasher films?)
Rent it [2 Stars=mediocre]
Video/Audio: 2.35 anamorphic widescreen. Extremely sharp transfer with muted colors. Some grain on some scenes but I think they were intentional. The 5.1 Dolby Digital Norwegian track is quite powerful and clear.
Extras: Two nifty short films, an alternate ending, Trailers, making of and behind the scenes/bloopers.