The Films of Adam Green
Frozen (February 11/10)
Armed with an appealingly pared-down premise, Frozen effectively establishes itself as one of the best horror films of its kind to come around since Open Water - as filmmaker Adam Green has effectively infused the proceedings with a tense and surprisingly cinematic sensibility that proves impossible to resist. The movie follows three friends (Kevin Zegers' Dan, Shawn Ashmore's Joe, and Emma Bell's Parker) as they're effectively stranded on a ski lift through no fault of their own, with the storyline subsequently detailing the trio's ongoing efforts at extracting themselves from their increasingly perilous predicament. Green does a superb job of easing the viewer into the situation by initially emphasizing the good-natured banter between Dan, Joe, and Parker, and although the dialogue is occasionally just a little too clever for its own good, the filmmaker has fleshed out the protagonists to such a degree that it becomes impossible not to sympathize with their plight once things go south. Green's difficulties in sustaining an atmosphere of pervasive dread is consequently not as problematic as one might've feared, with the inclusion of several absolutely enthralling sequences - ie one of our hapless heroes contemplates jumping off the lift - ultimately elevating the proceedings above its similarly-themed horror brethren. The progressively bleak narrative ensures that Frozen grows more and more compelling as it goes along, with the film's myriad of positive attributes - ie Green's undeniably strong eye for visuals, the superb performances, etc - effectively cementing its place as a claustrophobic and downright grim piece of work.