An audience favorite at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Adam Green’s “Frozen” will likely elicit one of two reactions: nail-biting suspense or unintentional laughter. It all depends on how much you buy into the movie, because while it’s a pretty frightening concept, it relies too often on absurd variables and bad decisions from its characters to be effective. The story is simple: a trio of skiers (Kevin Zegers, Shawn Ashmore and Emma Bell) are stranded on a chairlift and forced to choose between a potentially fatal escape and freezing to death. And since it’s Sunday night and the ski resort doesn’t open again until Friday, they don’t have the option of waiting around for rescue.
So what would you do? That’s the big question, because whether you like the movie or not, “Frozen” will almost always lead to a conversation about what you might have done differently in order to survive. One of the biggest problems with the film, however, is that none of it feels very real. While I’m willing to give any horror thriller a certain amount of freedom to be impractical (it’s the nature of the genre), “Frozen” is too ridiculous at times. The characters constantly complain about the cold weather and the likelihood of getting frostbite, and yet they never once consider zipping up their jackets for more protection. (Because then we wouldn’t be able to see their pretty faces.) And don’t get me started on the pack of wolves that just happen to be roaming around a public ski resort. It’s stuff like this that sucks the tension right out of the movie, and it’s ultimately what keeps “Frozen” from being as terrifying as its inventive premise promises.