Have you ever been on a Ferris wheel, roller coaster or one of those swinging pirate ships (*British accent*Yeah baby!) and it come to a stop in a location that it doesn’t typically stop in? How about when you are riding in an elevator or going up a mountain in ski lift and it inexplicably stops halfway up? Every time something like that happens to me, I get that feeling deep down that something has gone terribly wrong.
Well, that fear and dread is exactly what director Adam Green - along with studios Anchor Bay and A Bigger Boat - is trying to instill in his audience when they watch his latest horror movie, Frozen.
Frozen follows three friends, Parker (Supernatrual’s Emma Bell), Dan (Kevin Zeigers of Dawn of the Dead) and Lynch (Iceman himself, Shawn Ashmore) as they decide to hit the slopes one last time by boarding the chair lift, only to ride into their unfortunate destiny.
Part way up the mountain (well out of range of both ears and eyes of other people) their lift stops, the lights begin shutting off and as the mountain goes dark with the setting sun, the three skiers soon realize that they’ve been forgotten. Stuck 100 feet off the ground, with the weather getting colder and the wind blowing harder, they are soon forced to make life and death decisions because no one is coming to help them until the following weekend.
So where did director Adam Green get the idea for his horror/thriller Frozen? We spoke to the man himself, and here's what he had to say:
"Growing up in the greater Boston area, I couldn’t afford to ski at the nicer resorts like Stowe or Okemo Mountain in Vermont. Instead, I often found myself slumming at the ski mountains in Massachusetts that were so small that they only stayed open on the weekends and consisted of three rickety lifts that offered to take you to an easy, medium, or expert hill. For the skier on a budget there was none of the glamor and awe that a “real” east or west coast mountain resort has to offer, but it was the best we could get and so that’s what we did. Those experiences are where this film was born."
That makes sense. I grew up and still live in Florida, and although the weather the past week has been below freezing every night, I’ve never had much experience with skiing or chair lifts. The closest thing I can imagine would be being stuck on a water slide part way down at Wild Waters with the park closing for the season (oh the horror!). So what kind of horror is Green going for in Frozen? He explains:
"Frozen is a horror movie that will scare and disturb audiences not with the typical conventions of violence, gore, or torture… but in the overall sense of dread that keeps reminding you ‘this could really happen.’ Even those who have never skied will be able to relate to the fear of heights and fear of freezing to death that this film will terrify the audience with."
"This is not a film that will ignite laughter and the crowd-pleasing cheers and screams of gore-hounds like my first film Hatchet, nor will this be a delicate and artistic character study like my second film Spiral. Instead, Frozen is a very gritty and disturbing ride of three people trying to survive a very real and very inescapable situation. My hope is the next time anyone is on a ski lift that stops, this will be the movie that pops into their heads and chills them to the bone. "
Well there you go; Green wants his legacy with viewers to always be high anxiety, blood pressure and stress, to the point that they have night sweats every time they think about getting on a chair lift. For a horror/thriller director, I say that’s a pretty good goal.
Single-setting films - especially horror films like Frozen - are very tough to pull off because the story and dialog have to be solid enough to carry the film since the camera really has no other place to go. If Frozen doesn’t succeed by having solid interaction between the three kids, then it will fail to hold the audience’s attention and ultimately become a gimmicky horror film.
If you haven’t had a chance to watch the trailer for Frozen yet, check it out HERE.
What do you think about Frozen and is it something you are willing to watch and experience?
Frozen chills you to the bone February 5th, 2010.