Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Frozen 2010
Director: Adam Green
Writer: Adam Green
Starring Emma Bell, Shawn Ashmore and Kevin Zegers
Frozen is one of those man against nature films and in a lot of ways it reminds me of Open Water. Though I think this film delves into characterization far more than that film does. Some of the conversation scenes remind me of a scene from a Kevin Smith film. The suspense and the tension the film evokes is quite palatable and it leaves an impression on you after you finish viewing the film. The story is very tight and the cast does an excellent job with the material. You do not think a film about 3 people stuck in a ski lift would be so dramatic and exciting but it is. The film has some excellent moments of peril and there are no easy solutions for the characters. This is what makes the film so interesting. This is a taut and suspenseful film that will definitely rank on my list of the top horror films I have seen in 2010.
The plot basics are this, 3 college friends are on a skiing trip for the weekend and cannot pay the full price for ski lift tickets, so they bribe the operator to let them up at a under the table rate. It goes well for awhile but on their last trip up they are forgotten about and are stuck over the ski lane. They soon discover they will be stuck up there for a week and they now panic and try to come up with a way to save themselves. But other than being stuck on the lift they also have to worry about the roaming wolves looking for dinner.
This is a tense and suspenseful film. Green’s direction is captivating and mesmerizing. He really makes you feel for the characters and makes you sympathize with their plight. He films the suspense scenes very well. I especially loved it when the first guy tries to escape and what slowly befalls him. The script is very tight. The ongoing dramatic conversations between the 3 characters are very compelling and makes you stick with the film. You really want to see them succeed. The cast does a superb job. Bell does a great job and really grows as a character throughout the film. Ashmore is really top notch too and you really expect him to save the day somehow. Zegers does a decent job too. He sort of has a thankless role and pulls it off well. The SFX and make up effects are realistic and rather grisly. It helps keep the films sense of realism. The score by Andy Garfield is quite melancholic and suits the piece well. This is a small and intense film that is well worth viewing.
This one gets 5 out of 5

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Saw 3D

Saw 3D 2010
Director: Kevin Greutert
Writers: Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan
Starring Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor, Betsey Russell, Cary Elwes, Sean Patrick Holden, Chad Donella and Gina Holden
It has taken 7 films to get us to this point and what a ride it has been. I know there are a lot of horror film fans that do not like the Saw franchise, but I have to say from beginning to end I did not see a film that I did not enjoy or was entertained by. I cannot say that for many other horror franchises. S this is the supposed final film in the series they set about resolving everything and I think they do a good job. I think if they bring it back someone else with no ties to John Kramer will have to be the killer. This film has some of the most gruesome traps and is by far the goriest in the series. The 3D effects are done very well and unlike most 3D films I never had a headache while watching it. The plot as always is intricate and the cast does a great job. The only thing I would warn against is this is not a film for the casual viewer, this is a film for the Saw fan and anyone not up to date on the films will probably be lost. But for the Saw fans this is a great way to end the series.
The plot basics are this, Hoffman (Mandylor) has escaped the trap John (Bell) had left for his wife, Jill (Russell) to complete and now he wants revenge. She goes to the police for protection and she gives them all the dirt on Hoffman they need. But he is coming after Jill. Meanwhile, self guru Bobby Dagan (Flannery) who is said to have survived a Jigsaw trap is pulled into a trap to save his wife (Holden). While Hoffman begins his intricate plan to dispose of Jill, Dagan has to traverse many traps to save his beloved wife.
This is a fantastic film. Greutert who directed the last installment does a great job with the traps. The opening public trap is a great example of this. He also ratchets up the tension between Jill and Hoffman to the nth degree and that suspense carries the film. The script is tight as well, it juggles many plotlines left from the last film and ties them all together so there are no loose ends as the film ends. The cast does an excellent job. Bell is only in it very briefly but as always he does a great job. Mandylor who has carried the franchise lately does a good job as well. Russell as Jill plays the part very manic which ratchets up the suspense. Flannery plays the douche self help guru with aplomb so you cannot help but root for the traps. Elwes return is brief but really ties the film together. The SFX and makeup effects are at there gooiest in this film and if you are a fan of the red stuff you will love it. The score as with all the Saw films is intense and beats down on you just like the film does. This is a great ending to the series and makes it one of the most solid and dependable horror franchises out there.
This one gets 4 out of 5