Cold Prey II Mats Stenberg

Cold Prey II Mats Stenberg
6
When Cold Prey II opens, Jannicke (Ingrid Bolsø Berdal), the sole-survivor of the first film, is wandering down a snow-covered highway with the pickaxe she used to kill the hillbilly psychopath that mutilated her friends. Passing out after nearly being hit by a car, she awakens in a hospital where a small group of employees — Camille, the nurse (Marthe Snorresdotter Rovik); Herman, the doctor (Fridtjov Såheim); and Sverre, the cop (Mats Eldøen), primarily — have speculated about the situation and the many dead bodies discovered. Reiterating genre tropes and taking a cue (and entire plot) from Halloween 2, some staff members waste their time flirting, while others doubt the victim, leaving only Camille to identify with Jannicke, interpreting her nightmares and rage as something more than shock. And, after playing Cassandra for half-an-hour while a crew of interchangeable morons mess around, dead bodies start piling up in the remote hospital, leaving Jannicke to fight for her life yet again, trying to protect Daniel (Vetle Qvenild Werring), a fellow patient and child. While Mats Stenberg does a fair job reiterating the tone and aesthetic created by Cold Prey director Roar Uthaug, there's an overall lack of humour and creative character interplay that leave this sequel feeling rather lethargic and cold (no pun intended), in comparison. Tension is built satisfactorily with each throwaway character gradually meeting their fate in a darkened storage room, stairwell or dimly lit hallway, emulating the cleverly constructed sense of dread necessary for a slasher film to work. But there's nothing particularly creative about any of the kills and certainly no additional dramatic sensibilities added to the narrative. Stenberg is fine playing off the "girl power" angle, making Jannicke and Camille bond within the vacuum of self-preservation, battling their fight-or-flight instincts, which take shape when one or the other is backed into a corner. Since the mystery of the killer is gone, and he's little more than a menacing, superhuman hulk, seemingly incapable of death, there's a disconnect between aggressor and victim, making the entire experience seem like exaggerated voyeuristic sensationalism without any emotional investment. As such, while it's a competent and moderately effective film, it's also quite dry and forgettable. None of this is ameliorated by the deleted scenes included with the DVD, which all appear to have been cut for pacing. (Shout! Factory)