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DVD Review

DVD cover

Blood Snow


Starring: James Kyson-Lee, Penny Drake and Tiffany
Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment
RRP: £12.99
Certificate: 18
Available 27 September 2010

A small group of friends travel to a secluded cabin on Donner Mountain, where they are snowed-in and so effectively trapped in the region. Donner Mountain is named after a family that was slaughtered years before. In fact, it seems that the location has endured tragedy every quarter-century or so.  The three men discover a body in the snow with strange eyes, and initially keep the information from the girls, but it is soon revealed when the body has mysteriously vanished by the next day. The rot soon starts to set in to their close-knit circle when one of their number begins to see apparitions. He hears voices in the air around him, and gradually becomes unbalanced and dangerous. It's revealed by his girlfriend that he suffers from paranoia, for which he is supposed to be taking medication. But is his schizophrenia the only peril they have to deal with, or is there something else in the woods close to the cabin...?

Rather than a stalker/slasher movie which on the surface this appears to be, there is an attempt to create a claustrophobic psychological thriller. That's all well and good in theory but unfortunately it doesn't really work. The mistake seems to be the fact it borrows too heavily from the established horror format. We have a stop-off at a bar where they are confronted with the local ruffians and warned by a strange man (even if it is Michael Berryman, recognisable for his role in the original The Hills Have Eyes, and others) not to venture up to the cabin because of 'bad fings 'appening!' This type of part is perhaps best remembered from the first few Friday 13th films, but was being done back in the glory days of Hammer. The snowy isolation, constant trouble with the generator, and particularly a character who flips-out with the fear and pressure, are all lifted from John Carpenter's The Thing.

The cast boasts James Kyson-Lee from the TV series Heroes, and 1980s pop singer Tiffany. They all try their hardest, but the script and particularly the direction lets them down too many times. Although there are a couple of brief but genuine jolt moments, these are outweighed by some silly scenes and inexplicable events, not the least being what our characters are really up against. Is it a malignant spirit or the mind of a mental patient? I suppose the ambiguity could be seen as a good thing - unlike the movie itself, which hangs off the shirt tails of greats.


Ty Power

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