A typical day on the slopes turns into a chilling nightmare for three snowboarders when they get stranded on the chairlift before their last run. As the ski patrol switches off the night lights, they realize with growing panic that they’ve been left behind, dangling high off the ground with no way down.
Snow-sport enthusiasts, take note: Adam Green's unsettling thriller Frozen suggests that abiding by the rules and regulations of your local ski resort might not only be polite, but essential to your health. Green's hapless heroes--nice guy Dan (Kevin Zegers, Transamerica), his best pal Lynch (Shawn Ashmore, the X-Men franchise), and Dan's new girlfriend Parker (newcomer Emma Bell)--decided to cut a few corners in pursuit of more time on the slopes. Miscommunication with the staff results in the trio getting stuck on a lift some 60 feet in the air just moments before the resort closes for a three-day weekend. The hope for rescue soon dwindles, and the trio faces the decision to either endure the elements or somehow make their way to the ground without injury. All of the gruesome possibilities inherent to the situation--from frostbite and broken limbs to a pack of voracious wolves--are explored in unpleasant detail, but what sets Frozen apart from a simple splatterfest is the quality of the performances, especially Bell, who rises above her character's initial superficiality to present a wholly sympathetic character. Fans of Green's first film, the abysmal slasher tribute Hatchet, might find the pacing glacial (ahem), but those who admired his sophomore effort, the psychological thriller Spiral, will appreciate his attention to pacing and suspense, which puts Frozen on par with the very similar Open Water. The DVD includes commentary by Green and his stars, along with deleted scenes and a wealth of behind-the-scenes featurettes focusing on conception of the project, as well as the crew's struggles with the genuinely contentious weather at the Utah filming location. --Paul Gaita