The Frozen Ground (15)
Dir. Scott Walker
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
"When the hunter becomes the hunted..."
Or more importantly - when a film poster rocks a quote like: "At last a suspense/Thriller to rival Se7en"- you should take note.
My mind did a slight flip when I realised that The Frozen Ground was the movie they were talking about... Because this is the thriller produced by 50 Cent...
"I don't think this one is going to pull through"
My preparation for The Frozen ground included a delicious Korean BBQ and a bottle of Jinro Soju - then aided by my pal John - I faced the horror that is Nicolas Cage in a serious role.
The Frozen Ground is based on the real-life 1980s Alaskan hunt for serial killer Robert Hansen. Hansen stalked and murdered between 17 and 21 young women, kidnapping them and taking them out to the Alaskan wilderness where he shot and buried them for kicks. Here we at least get an interesting, confident nutjob baddie in the form of John Cusack playing against type as Hansen (all twitchy uncomfortableness) and Vanessa Hudgens is a whore - never thought I'd be writing that in a film review but hey... She's the one working girl who managed to escape from Hansen.
"Cage doesn his fist in mouth thing (again)"
First time writer/director Scott Walker goes for a moody tone and uses the Alaskan setting to great effect. He is saddles with Cage who as Halcombe at one point says: “I’m the wrong guy to be getting in the middle of this!" To be honest it's hard not to agree with him as this case would have been more exciting if we'd had a more maverick detective like BBC's LUTHER tracking Hansen.
"That's some great Hudgens acting!"
Cage is seemingly set to 'slo-mo acting mode' - his pudgy face writ large with a "what the hell's going on?" expression throughout... The fact that Walker keeps things moving along and comes out with a decent thriller is nothing short of a miracle.
"I'm Agent Smith"
Hudgens actuall does a good job but her character is a bit too disposable to warrant much real emotion. What keeps you hooked is the sheer horror that all this nastiness actually happened.
Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:
(3 - worth checking but no 'Se7en')...
Awesomeness ööö – some strong scenes (mostly the ones without Cage)
Laughs öö – Cage's acting is unintentionally funny
Horror öööö – yes grim in places
Babes ööö – Hudgens dances
Spiritual Enlightenment ööö – just because he seems like a nice guy doesn't mean he's not a monster
"OK Vanessa - we get it you're all grown up, now get dressed..."