12 May 2014

Review - As far as Cliched Slashers go, 'Cold Prey' is Standard Material

Director: Roar Uthaug
Writer: Thomes Moldestad, Martin Sundland
Stars:  Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, Rolf Kristian Larsen, Tomas Alf Larsen
Running Time: 97 mins
Sub-Genre: Slasher
Release: 2006

Jannicke, Morten Tobias, Eirik, Mikael and Ingunn are on a snowboarding vacation in Jotunheimen. They are forced to take shelter in an abandoned hotel when Morten Tobias breaks his leg and their car is too far away for them to reach within nightfall. They quickly discover that the hotel was closed in the seventies due to the disappearance of the managers' son. Unknown to them, someone is still living in the hotel, and getting home, or even surviving the stay, isn't as easy as they believe.

Have you ever seen The Cabin in the Woods? Well if you haven't which is a crime in its self if your are a horror fan, but if you have then you will know that Cold Prey (or Fritt Vilt the original title) probably inspired most of the films narrative strand, and it's only until you sit down to watch Cold Prey when you realise just how cliched it really is. Although the characters aren't completely reformed to such cliche's, there are still hints here and there to their terribly predictable fates, and after the slutty blonde bites the dusts the dust first, you then begin to realise that.

Expecting originality from a slasher is like waiting for someone to start hacking people up in a romance film; it just doesn't happen, but it doesn't mean fun can't be had when the conventions are tossed back and forth in a film such as this. Yes it's extremely bad, but there is some fun to be had with Cold Prey, and the sooner you except that cliches play just as big of a part as murder the sooner you will start to enjoy this slice of European trash.

By no means is this a good film, but as a horror fan you feel you are obliged to watch such junk, but like every bad film, it has its qualities, and Cold Prey's shines throughout, although it never outshines its faults. The deaths are gory and the chase scenes are intense, but the whole experience just feels like a wheel in which the characters keep repeating the same thing time after time without ever learning from their clumsy mistakes.

Expect the whole "let's split up" gag and "oh let's go explore this deserted and scary area alone" over and over again, but also expect wit and charm from the characters who manage to keep the tedious endeavors fresh enough to maintain our interest. Cold Prey isn't typically what you will call fun, but watching a likable lead fight for survival whilst the rest of her friends get butchered to a bloody pulp is always entertaining in every language.

Cold Prey is stitched together with every cliche tediously used in slasher films, but it has enough clever kills and intense sequences to keep the film watchable, regardless of its extreme lack of originality.

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