Frozen is a killer premise well-executed. Here’s how simple it is: Three college students on a ski trip get stranded on a lift, halfway up the mountain. No one knows they’re up there. There’s nobody around to hear their calls for help. It’s too high to jump, it’s below freezing, and there are hungry things in the woods.
Can’t you picture a movie already?
With Frozen, writer/director Adam Green has come up with an eerie, believable “What would you do?” scenario, and, I think, he’s exploited it to its full potential. What would you do, if it were you up there? In Frozen, some of the characters do exactly what you would probably do, and some try things that you probably wouldn’t. The filmmakers obviously considered the logistics of the scenario thoroughly, and Frozen is completely relatable, with some eventualities you might not have foreseen, and other more incredulous elements (those things in the woods) played as realistically as possible. Everything that happens is clearly heightened and time-compressed in order to fit movie-time, but it felt convincing to me, even with the evident budgetary limitations. These guys got the maximum bang for their buck.
The three main actors, Emma Bell, Shawn Ashmore, and Kevin Zegers, do a terrific job, but this really is the kind of movie where you have to credit the entire crew for a job well done. For an obviously micro-budgeted production, I can’t see how Frozen could be much better. Everything needs to be believable for a thriller like this to work, and this movie really is effective. When it’s over, you breathe in and bundle up, grateful to be anywhere other than in those frozen shoes. What better service can a fright flick provide?