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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Dead Snow (2009) - Horror Nazi Zombies

Dead Snow (2009) - REVISTED, Part of the Terrorthon 10 events at the Somerville Theater. Opening scenes that capture the audience attention and pull us right into the story. It is what we get with this movie, the opening scene of Sara (Ane Dahl Torp) running from the dark shapes in the snow, totally panic-ed . She stops and looks off in the distance, did she loose them? Look out Nazi zombie! Credits roll and we already know what we are in store for. We don't know who Sara is at this point but we know there are horrifying things in these mountains. So when we go into the cars of the students on spring break and get introduced to the fodder, I mean characters we feel the dread of them not knowing their fate.
Some of the relationships are established Liv (Evy Kasseth Rosten) is with Martin (Vegar Hoel), the doctor in training who can't stand the sight of blood. Boy is he going to get over that in a hurry. Vegard ( Lasse Valdal) is the boyfriend to poor possibly dead Sara. Chris (Jenny Skavlan) the little hussy is going to make a play for Erlend (Jeppe Laursen) the movie geek. that leave Hanna(Charlotte Frogner) with Roy (Stig Frode Henriksen) and we have our quad of couples heading to the mountains for a ski break. Sara who went ahead to set things up will meet them there.
They park the cars and have a hike to the cabin. Vegard heading up ahead of everyone on his ski mobile. He finds it odd that Sara is not there when he arrives, but she knows the area and he figures she went out for a hike. Then there are some scenes to let us know that they are there to have fun.
Since we know the scares are coming we get to the night rather quickly and Hanna has to go to the outhouse. Cold and dark she gets tense when she hears something in the woods. She gets back to the others and says there is something out there. When Roy goes to check it out we get a good startle when the Wanderer (Bjorn Sundquist) appears behind him. People are polite in Sweden so they invite the stranger in. His role in the film is to inform us what the story of these mountains are.
In WWII Nazi Col Herzog was a viscous occupier for this area, he and his men tortured and killed many innocent villagers. When he realized the war was lost, and the Russian army was closing in he and his men systematically stole all the gold from the villagers. This was the final straw for the village and they rose up and killed the Germans. But the Herzog and a small amount of his men escaped into the mountains with the loot. They froze to death in the winter but apparently their greed for the gold was so great that if someone comes in possession of any of it they rise as Nazi Zombies and kill you to get it back. They are drawn to it from the dead.
He is there to put them all ill at ease and does a fine job. He tells them to tread lightly in these mountains. He heads off and the kids head to bed. Vegard dreams of Sara, she is closing the trapdoor to under the cabin, used to keep things cold. He follows her outside, She is standing outside by the cabin with blood coming out of her mouth. He wakes from his dream.
The film does a nice job with using the dark to create tension, character almost seeing things or using a flashlight limiting the scope of what they can see. We get one of these scene with the wanderer demise. Another thing with the filmaking as it should be wih monster movies is director Tommy Wirkola does not show the monsters right away, not in a clear way. It is the "almost" that make each encounter more tense. As the movie progresses we see more and more and the makeup is excellent so there is an excellent payoff for not seeing then early in the film.
Since his dream was so disturbing Vegard decides to use his snow mobile to search for Sara, leaving the others for a second day of playing in the snow.
When he is out there and stops for a bite to eat he sees the tent of the wanderer and goes to investigate. The blood in the snow should have been enough to scare him off but no... He falls through a snow bank into a cave while fleeing the wanderer's tent and is out cold.
Not knowing anything weird is going on the friends back at the cabin. While getting beer from the trap door Erlend finds a box of gold. Oh so that's why the zombies were after Sara. The group all paw at it and several have items they fail to put back in the box.
We get one of the grosses scenes ever Erlend goes to the outhouse announcing his need to shit. As he wipes Chris arrives to fuck him on the john, gross and fucking cold. Worse than the gore and the brains the idea of this act sends chill down my spine. Since they had sex we can guess what their fate will be. He heads in as she stays to go the bathroom after sex. Now we start to see the Nazi Zombies she is terrified as one is outside the outhouse. Surprise! The music inside it too loud for her to be heard screaming.
The already very well done pacing starts to pick up as we transition from creepy scary to action frightening. The zombies attack the cabin and the battle is on. By morning there are just two girls and two guys. They decide two of them should act as decoys while the other two make a break for the cars.
Vegard awakes and find he is in the snow cave lair of the Nazi Zombies. He find remains of Sara and then in his grief is surprised by a zombie attacking him. He has an epic battle and wins only to have another zombie rise from the ground. Eventually he shows his worth and is heading back to camp with a machine gun freshly mounted on his ski mobile.
The girls running to the car do not fare particularly well. One at least gets to grenade the swarm of fiend eating her guts as she dies. The other trapped in a tree is a bit of a ridiculous scene ends up fighting for her life and going over a cliff with a zombie.
back at the cabin Herzog rises his troops and sends them towards the guys. There is some wonderful battling in this set piece.
The last woman survives the fall from the cliff.
More of the big battle at the cabin has Vegard coming to the rescue but then being drawn and quartered by five zombies. The Final two guys manage to win again but not without a heartbreaking incident. This film is rocking good at this point, there is gore and humor and fighting and everything is moving towards a close. The final two guys think they have come out on top but again Herzog has troops in reserve and soon they are running towards the cars ahead of the zombie army. When one of the two dies the last guy alive sees Herzog taking the gold off him and finally makes the connection we have known all along. He rushes back to the charred cabin and find the box of gold showing it to the Zombies and then fleeing for his life.
Wow what a fun movie! Better on the third viewing... I really like when an idea is executed well. The story here is nothing too complex, they characters are just barely drawn but still this film delivers what it promises and that is very refreshing. There are surprises and gore with surprises and just the most epic battle scenes. Very good film for a zombie movie fan who likes action also.
Rating (8.0) 5.0 and up are recommended, Zombiegrrlz system I would say Buy It! Go see it!

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