Frozen Frozen

Frozen Frozen
Frozen might not be your absolute worst nightmare, but Adam Green makes a strong argument for it to be a contender. Three friends (Shawn Ashmore, Kevin Zegers and Emma Bell) try to get one last run in on the slopes late Sunday night. Unfortunately, a negligent chairlift operator fails to notice and halfway up the hill they find themselves stuck in snowy conditions. The odds? Oh, they're against them as they sit a good 100-feet or so in the air, the temperature's dropping, hungry wolves are circling and the hill is closed until Friday. Like Open Water, Green gives the viewer a "what if?" scenario that allows the imagination to run wild. As he proved with Hatchet, he gets brutal with the consequences, demonstrating what would happen if you jumped from the chair to the ground (hint: it's pretty messy). The tension he builds is well paced and visceral, tapping into our deepest fears, making them worse than we can imagine. With the right kind of desperate measures and palpable escape routes, Frozen is chilling, even wince inducing, in parts. It's unfortunate that Green lets his competent actors down with some truly abhorrent dialogue and an overwrought classical score. Always one to pay homage to his influences, the personal exchange between Ashmore, Zegers and Bell is downright eye-rolling and artificial ― only when they face their impending doom do they come off as sincere, relatable 20somethings. Luckily, the actors are more likeable in real life, as their commentary attests. Green offers two commentaries: one with his cast and another more technical one with editor Ed Marx and DoP Will Barratt. As you'd expect, the former is the more engaging, as Green discusses the challenges of the shoot between the trio, who display more chemistry via voiceovers, as well as how one audience member fainted during Frozen's Butt-Numb-A-Thon screening last year in Austin, TX. Four top-notch featurettes are included that in many ways outshine the film. "Three Below Zero" is a cast-focused short that reveals how important it was for Green to find the right actors with names that could help sell the movie. Most fascinating, however, is the 53-minute "Beating the Mountain: Surviving Frozen," which depicts just how tough the shoot was. Green emphasizes how genuine this movie is, eschewing CGI, forcing his cast and crew to survive the bitter cold and realistic set ― the actors actually sat on a chairlift fitted with cameras. Plus: deleted scenes, theatrical trailer. (Anchor Bay)