Sunday, October 18, 2009

Eco-Horror



The Thaw 2009
Director: Mark A. Lewis
Writers: Mark A. Lewis and Michael Lewis
Starring Val KIlmer, William B. Davis, Martha MacIsaac, Gary Chalk, Peter Kelamis, Anna Marie Deluise, John Callander, Kyle Schmid, Steph Song and Aaron Ashmore

Ecological Horror is not a subject that is broached much in horror films and it is refreshing whey you see a horror film that tries to tackle this subject. The Thaw is just such a film, it is a smart and thought provoking horror movie that makes you think, while at times makes you flinch in horror. The film is a combination of The Thing, Slither and Cabin Fever and it is a combination that really works. It has a great paranoia feel to it that is palatable throughout the entire film. The feeling of isolation permeates the entire film and it also has a great feel of unease and disgust with the sexual unease the film carries within it too. The film does not take the easy way out and for that I applaud it. It is also great to see such a great actor as Val Kilmer playing such a pivotal role in the film.
The plot basics are this, in a remote Antarctic research station four environmental ecology students go to study with a eco friendly research scientist Dr. David Kruipen (Kilmer). Kruipen's daughter (MacIsaac) is one of the students that comes along for the ride. They arrive and see that it is deserted and soon one of his research colleagues arrives and she is sick and tainted with something. They soon discover That Kruipen unearthed a wooly mammoth and inside the mammoth there are eggs hatching inside that are parasitic and take over the host body. It is then a race against time to insulate everyone from the parasites and along the way they discover Dr. Kruipen's insane plan to save the eco system.
This was very good film. Lewis' direction is tight, he has a great paranoia and claustrophobic fell throughout the entire film. He sets up all the intense face offs in the film very tensely and you never know which way the tide will turn. The script is great as well, I really like the characters of Dr. Kruipen and Federico. They are fully fleshed out characters and you really feel their motives and why they act the way they do. The cast is very well chosen too. Kilmer brings a great gravitas to his role and Schmid is great as the paranoid Federico. I also enjoy MacIsaac, she really has a great grasp on her role and you feel her panic throughout the film. The SFX is very good, a lot of the scenes are reminiscent of Cabin Fever. Of special note, is the arm amputation scene, it really makes you uncomfortable as you experience it. This is a really thought provoking horror film and when you watch it you think if Al Gore made a horror film, he would make something like this.
This one gets 4 out of 5

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