A review of Norwegian Nazi zombie horror flick, Dead Snow

Posted: October 27, 2014 in Archive posts, Journalism, Reviews
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

From Death Ray #21.

2009/90 mins/18

THREE STARS

Director: Tommy Wirkola

Writers: Stig Frode Henriksen and Tommy Wirkola

Starring: Vegar Hoel, Charlotte Frogner, Orjan Gamst, Stig Frode Henriksen, Jeppe Laursen, Evy Kasseth Rosten, Jenny Skavlan. Ane Dahl Torp, Lasse Valdal

Norwegian horror comedy(ish) that makes a bid for The Evil Dead territory and fails, though it deserves a distinction for effort.

Horror, what charms do you so possess that brings youthful directors flocking to you so? This is another entry in to the grand logbook of low-budget cinema, a passable though not excellent passage.

As usual: A small band (medical students) go on holiday (a remote mountain cottage) where their mobile phones don’t work. They encounter an unsettling old dude who tells them of monsters (the revenants of Nazi soldiery), said monsters then show up to party when the students unearth a box of their gold.

Peppered with good gore effects, a handful of jokes and some nicely staged action, Dead Snow is not without its moments. An opening sequence featuring one student chased across the snowy night has brio charmed from nothing thanks to some quick editing and the amusing application of Peer Gynt, for example.

But it’s rather let down by a bunch of characters who, while not interchangeable, have precious little to differentiate them (credit, though, to the actors, who at least work hard with what they’re given). And the script, despite cleaving determinedly to the standard horror formula detailed above, contains several missteps that could easily have been rectified.

Want to hear them? Okay, among them are: Why is the old giffer staying on the mountains if he is so sure there is evil there? Why has the box of gold the students find not been discovered before? If the gold is the catalyst, why are the monsters roaming about before it is discovered? Finally, a lurid story of Nazi occult experiments could have explained away why our German pals are running about like zombies, as the story stands we don’t get a reason for their corporeality. (The recent British film Outpost, also with a Hitlerian foe, managed that problem very well). Still, it’s a promising debut, we just recommend an extra set of eyes pass over the next story that pops out of Mr. Mirkola’s head.

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