Sunday, 21 July 2013

Review: The Frozen Ground

World of Blackout Film Review

The Frozen Ground Poster

The Frozen Ground
Cert: 15 / 105 mins / Dir. Scott Walker

So, I don't mind a bit of Cage. In fact, I'd go so far as to say I rather enjoy his work, often on a trashy level but enjoy nonetheless. I have a patchier history with Cusack, but I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. And Hudgens? Erm, I watched Sucker Punch then tried to forget it. So when you take this combo and add the words 'Based on real events', you probably shouldn't hold up too much hope, right?

Well, it's far better than you expect it to be, but not quite as good as you'd like. The framework is pure straight-to-video crime thriller; not sleazy in a titillating way, but not afraid to show a few boobies when the scene's set in a strip club (and this happens often enough that you imagine it's one of the reasons the screenplay got optioned). But keeping it grounded is the subject matter. While the 'actual events' title card is only shown once at the start, the scenes with the killer are just edgy enough to remind you that this happened; it's not overly sensationalised, and it doesn't leave too much of a bad taste in the mouth, but it's unpleasant enough to drive the plot exactly as it should.

Cage is okay as the Alaska State Trooper determined to apprehend a known serial-killer, and Cusack is okay as that killer, but it's their scenes together that make The Frozen Ground worth the watch. Hudgens channels her best Mila Kunis as a character consistently making the wrong decisions; she's very good, in a completely infuriating way. The final act of the film has a layer of intensity that's desperately trying to pull the film out of made-for-Channel-5 territory, and almost manages it.

It says a lot about the tone of the The Frozen Ground that when the closing credits start with a dedication to Hansen's victims, and a sequence of photographs/details of each is shown, not a single person left the auditorium or even fidgeted to. I don't know how close to the truth this film goes, but for me it was close enough to be not taken lightly.

Is the trailer representative of the film?
No, that trailer's terrible.

Did I laugh, cry, gasp and sigh when I was supposed to?

Does it achieve what it sets out to do?

Pay at the cinema, Rent on DVD or just wait for it to be on the telly?
Honestly? DVD, tops.

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?

Will I watch it again?
With the best will in the world, probably not. It's not really a repeater.

Is there a Wilhelm Scream?
There isn't, no.

And because you won't be happy until I've given it a score...

And my question for YOU is…
What's the best 'actual events' movie you've seen?

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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