Tuesday, October 12, 2021

COLD PREY (2006) Movie Review

Scare-A-Thon Totals to Date:

Total Movies Watched: 11
Total First Time Views: 7
Amount raised for ALBANY PARK THEATER PROJECT: $535.15

Cold Prey (2006) d. Roar Uthaug (Norway) (97 min) (2nd viewing)

A quintet of young, thrill-seeking snowboarders head up to the mountains to try out their mad skillz on the pristine (and remote) slopes of Jotunheimen, Norway. There are two couples, longstanding item Jannicke (Ingrid Bolsø Berdal) and Eirik (Tomas Alf Larsen) and new loves Mikal (Endre Martin Midtstigen) and Ingunn (Viktoria Winge), with court jester fifth wheel Morten Tobias (Rolf Kristian Larsen) clearly carrying a torch for Jannicke. Good times and laughs aplenty are had until Tobias snaps his ankle and the group must quickly get him to shelter before a storm hits. Fortunately, they stumble across a deserted resort/hotel and take refuge. Unfortunately, they are not alone….

With the dearth of true stalk n’ slash flicks in the post-Scream early 2000s (as Hostel and Saw led the charge to an “all-slash” format), Roar Uthaug’s (YOU GOTTA LOVE THAT NAME) slick Norwegian chiller thriller managed to scratch the itch for old school fans looking for old school charms, as long as they didn’t mind reading subtitles and weren’t looking for anything new.

Seriously, Uthaug and co-screenwriters Thomas Moldestad and Martin Sundland, working from an idea by producers Jan Eirik Langoen and Magne Lyngner, do their best to check every single slasher box they can. Photogenic college grads? Check. Mysterious faceless killer? Check? Signature instrument of death, in this case a pickaxe? Check. Murderer’s mysterious backstory slowly revealed over the course of the film? Check. (Even the seemingly inspired setting of an abandoned ski lodge had already been appropriated by 2003’s Shredder).

That said, the acting is solid (and in Norwegian!) with Berdal a particular standout as our Final Girl, the cinematography (by Daniel Voldeheim) accomplished, and the characters more intelligent and resourceful than your usual by-the-numbers victims.

A notch above much of the evisceration wallowing of its torture-porn cohorts, Cold Prey generated a lot of positive buzz on the festival circuit and was a smash in its own country and surrounding areas before finally making its way Stateside a few years later (by which time the sequel, Cold Prey II, had already been released. If you liked this one, you’ll probably enjoy the follow-up even more, especially if you’re a Halloween II fan.)

If you’re interested in more Scandinavian scares, Tommy Wirkola’s Dead Snow flicks, Andre Ovredal’s Trollhunter, Reinert Kiil’s The House and Christmas Bloodand Aleksander Nordaas’ Thale are all worth your time.



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