Wednesday, January 19, 2011


This movie seems absurd on its face, setting up an impossible scenario with a ridiculous premise--so I thought!  Three college kids have gone to ski and try to get in one last run before the ski area shuts down.  Through a series of mishaps, they are stranded on a chair lift on a deserted ski mountain.  Of course the ski area only opens on weekends, so the trio faces the possibility of being stranded there all week.  Then a storm comes in.  Desperate to get out of there, one of the kids jumps, hoping to walk to get help.  He breaks both legs.  Soon comes along a hungry pack of wolves. . . .
I watched this movie a few weeks ago, before the ski season had begun.  Then I started noticing these headlines:
  • "200 skiers stranded on Mountain High chair lift" (California)
  • "Stranded Skiers Rescued from Alpine Valley Chair Lift" (Ohio)
  • "Boyce Park Lift Open After Ropes Used to Rescue Stranded Skiers" (Pennsylvania)
  • "Skier Dangles 25 ft from the Ground as Six are Injured and 200 Stranded When Chair Lift Derails at Maine's Highest Resort"
There are all in the first few weeks of this winter's ski season!  And there are more. . . .

So Frozen might be a bit over the top.  In all the cases above, skiers were rescued; there was never a chance that someone would be stranded overnight or without help from the ski area itself (and I suspect the ski areas in question bent over backwards to compensate the stranded and injured skiers).  But is it really that much of a stretch to think that someone might get stranded overnight, after everyone goes home?

Frozen is a low-budget, high-intensity thriller.  Given the frequency of ski lift incidents indicated by the above headlines, the premise of Frozen is all too real.  Like Open Water, the 2003 movie that depicted scuba divers who were left behind by their boat, Frozen takes what should be a fun situation and turns it into a nightmare.  The viewer thinks, "That could happen to me!" and wonders what in the world he would do to survive. 

Bottom line, 2 1/2 stars

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