Friday, February 26, 2010

Dead Snow

What's scarier than being attacked by zombies? How about being attacked by zombies while in an isolated cabin in the snowy Norwegian wilderness? How about having to read subtitles throughout the whole ordeal? What if these are Nazi zombies? Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that is the plot of Dead Snow.  In a lot of ways, it's a formulaic slasher flick, but there is just enough originality to make it worth watching. 

It started out with what I thought was a very nice touch, a woman walking through a very serene looking Norse countryside while Grieg's In The Hall Of The Mountain King played in the background.  As the music intensified, you realiz that she is being chased by something, something which catches and kills her as the music climaxes.  That opening scene hooked me (and the trailer features Beethoven's Ode To Joy, also very nice, I enjoy the juxtaposition of beautiful music, beautiful scenery, and terror).  Anyway, from there the movie takes an abrupt turn and cuts to 7 stupid, exceptionally annoying 20 somethings headed up to the afore mentioned cabin in the snowy wilderness.  The classical music stops and the crappy Norwegian heavy metal takes over.  At this point the film seems to stall as you try to stomach about 40 minutes of these morons waiting for them to start getting killed. 

From there, however, the movie really takes off.  There are several nods to other horror movies, specifically the Evil Dead series and Braindead (Dead Alive in the US).  And in this vein, Dead Snow I would categorize as more of a zomedy than a horror film.  There are several laugh out loud moments, highlighted by one of the characters cutting off his arm with a chainsaw (a la Evil Dead II) after being bitten to prevent becoming a zombie himself.  I don't want to give it away, but what followed really caught me off guard.  The final 45 minutes of the film are a fun, bloody romp with body parts flying left and right.  I was pleasantly surprised by how much I ended up enjoying it.  If you can get through the first half, it's well worth your time.
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