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DVD Review

DVD cover

Cold Prey Box Set


Starring: Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, Rolf Kristian Larsen and Marthe Snorresdotter Rovik
Momentum Pictures
RRP: £17.99
Certificate: 18
Available 27 April 2009

Five friends, all seasoned snowboarders, drive to the southern Norwegian mountains for a holiday break. Climbing a summit they find a secluded region perfect for their sport. However, when one of their number fractures his leg, the group is forced to find shelter for the night. This is discovered in the form of a large abandoned ski lodge hotel. Breaking in, the friends make their patient and themselves comfortable, before exploring their new surroundings. But they are not alone. A giant figure carrying a pick-axe stalks the corridors, and he violently objects to the new arrivals’ presence. The group is suddenly fighting for survival, and in the isolated location there is nowhere to run...

When I first sat down to watch a group of obviously professional snowboarders zipping about to the accompaniment of what I thought was skater music, I wasn’t much impressed. However, Cold Prey is a slasher horror movie with intelligence. The viewer is slowly reeled in with likeable and realistic characters, with dialogue and actions conducive to the circumstances. In other words, they all act in believable ways. It’s practically half an hour into the film before we get any real evidence of another presence, and even then it’s just an initial tantalising glimpse. The fact that the opening isn’t boring can only be down to tight scripting. The director here uses some of the best moments from those favourite films of the late '70s and '80s, putting a modern slant on what could so easily be a hackneyed premise.

I always think that silent fictional killers, such as Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees, have the potential to be much more chilling than those which talk or wisecrack like Freddy Krueger. The perpetrator here takes this stance, also wrapping himself up so thickly in winter clothing that even his face is not visible. There is an unnecessary requirement on the part of the writer to explain the background of the killer, but as this is not dwelled heavily upon it means we escape being subjected to the characters attempting to appeal to the real identity of the person, a personality which would have long-since fled the psychotic mind in question.

There’s real suspense and edginess in the concluding scenes, as one of the female characters effectively turns into Ripley from Alien, having to quickly adapt and become stronger to survive. Thankfully, this is tackled realistically; she doesn’t suddenly transmogrify into a female Arnold Schwarzenegger. There is also a convincing sense of desperation and the young woman thinking on her feet.

Don’t be put off by the subtitles (this is a Norwegian film), because you would miss an entertaining viewing experience. Just a quick mention, too, for the excellent and appropriately titled end credits song, "All My Friends Are Dead."



When a car is reported abandoned in a remote location of the southern Norwegian mountains, a local police officer is sent out to investigate. Near the described area he nearly runs-down a young woman standing in the middle of the road with a pick-axe. She immediately collapses, and he drives her to the hospital. Here there is only a skeleton crew in attendance, as the building is in the process of being closed-down. The woman appears to be in a catatonic state, but eventually the police manage to acquire the basic events from the conclusion of the first film. The bodies are recovered and brought back to the hospital. When checking them over, the staff realise that one still retains faint life signs. He is brought back to life and left to recover. However, this is of course the killer, and the woman finds herself once again not only running for her life but having to take matters into her own hands...

Cold Prey 2: Resurrection Cold is reminiscent of Halloween 2, when Michael Myers stalks the hospital where Laurie Strode has been taken after the events of the first film. It also has connections with Jason X (Friday 13th Part 10), wherein Jason's body is recovered from a planetary expedition and lies in the lab, only to revive and continue his killing spree. The explanation given for the revival of the killer is that hypothermia slowed his heart rate and kept him alive. This alone sounds like nonsense, particularly because we're not simply talking about an hour or two, but the next day. However, we are fed the additional information that the killer was stillborn, and was officially dead for four hours before starting to breathe. This, I would think, accounts more for his unbalanced state of mind than his mortality.

The plot of this sequel is significantly simplified compared with its predecessor, but it does have its chilling moments (no pun intended), although more could have been made of the fact that the protagonist is initially strapped to her hospital bed when the killer goes on the rampage. The best moment comes at the end, when the killer returns to the ski lodge hotel at which they had first encountered him, and the (Ripley) woman feels obliged to seek him out for a final showdown.


Ty Power

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