Ugh this movie... okay, it starts with a whiny entitled girl and a whiny know-it-all boy going out into the frozen wasteland for a “fun trip” (according to the guy). Now I feel guilty mocking these people, because I’m no better than them. Just like them, I would die in 2 seconds in the cold, and I would be totally incapable of putting up a tent, or fixing a snowmobile, or doing anything. But the difference is, I’m not in a movie. You don’t have to watch me be whiny. Oh wait, you’re reading me doing it. Oops, sorry.
So they go on their trip, and it’s really cold and snowy, and they stay in a tent, and ride around on a snowmobile. Eventually they crash the snowmobile and can’t fix it, so they’re stuck ten miles from the road with no way back and no way to communicate. This is followed by hours and hours of the exact same thing over and over: it’s daytime so they try walking somewhere and give up and go back to the tent. It’s nighttime and they try to sleep, but hear a noise outside so they look back and forth with a flashlight. Now the big twist is that sometimes they see nothing, and sometimes they see something. But even if they see something (a person), it goes away in a few seconds and it comes out the same as if they saw nothing: they go back in the tent all nervous, and go to sleep anyway.
All that stuff is interspersed with occasional nightmares. That’s it. That’s what you get out of this movie until about the last 10 minutes. It’s so monotonous and just exhausting, because each time they look for something, there’s always that hope that this time
it will lead to something new, but it never does, so you wait some more. Then in the end of the movie, one of the people they kept seeing actually decides to stick around, and kind of chases the girl around, until eventually there is a confrontation and I won’t spoil the big, massively over-expositiony finish.
Sure, there’s a twist. What was happening was not what you thought, but that doesn’t explain why we had to sit through endless night after night of the same thing every time. It was just pure padding. The script for this movie must
have just been xeroxed pages throughout the middle. They were like “well, we’ve got 30 minutes of movie... let’s just photocopy the middle five pages about 20 times to pad it out.” And that is what they had - about 30 minutes of legitimate movie. That 30 minutes would’ve been an okay short story, if very derivative (you’ve seen this twist a lot), although the ending was just so over-explained that even that wasn’t good.
1/5 Wet Socks.
My Movie Idea:
The frozen woods make for a nice film setting. There’s a lot you can do (Insomnia, Fargo, Devil’s Pass which I watched last year for Halloween). So hmm, what would I do... my brain was numbed during this movie, so I didn’t think of anything while watching. Something based around the fact that it’s so silent in the woods, but there’s always the occasional cracking of a branch or slump of snow.
So maybe we have stealthy near-invisible monsters (just being white would work for that!), stalking campers trapped up in the mountains, and a lot of the movie is these very tense scenes, kind of the negative version of a normal horror movie: protagonists standing in bright white light, but still totally unable to see what’s coming for them, and they are constantly turning their head, trying to catch the soft crunch of snow underneath a claw. To make it a true negative image, the monsters could sleep during the night and only be dangerous in daylight.
The monsters are drawn to heat, as you could imagine, which adds some other scenarios like burying yourself in snow to hide your heat, and tense moments as they walk directly overhead, and of course the balance between not freezing to death, but not giving them heat to track (you know at some point the heroes do the opposite - light a bunch of fires to distract and confuse the monsters. Maybe the climax involves a forest fire). I don’t have any interesting twists in mind, I just think that would be a fun basic premise to then build a good story around. You go do the hard part, I’ve suffered enough sitting through The Frozen.