Sunday, June 05, 2011

What a great concept for a movie. We’ll take three obnoxious bozos, stick them on a ski lift and then have them get stuck on there with no one to help. We’ll even have a storm...and maybe some wolves. Yeah, that’ll be great!

It’s part of my peculiar nature to find a premise like this intriguing. How the hell do you generate drama with three people stuck on a ski lift? I have no idea, but if it involves pain, degradation and broken limbs, I’m up for it.

I’m not sure if we’re supposed to sympathize with the grabass-tic amphibian shit on display here, but I despised them from the get-go. We have an airhead girl, her annoying, sleazebag boyfriend and their equally sleazy friend. They’re the kind of over-privileged, cheap-ass people that won’t pay full price for a ski ticket but at the same time are so out of touch with reality that they think that minimum wage is called minimal wage. These dickheads have led lives that are far too comfortable.

You know that these people have never done a real day’s work in their lives or ever struggled for anything. How do I know this? Because one of the guys, Dan, spends all of his time wearing a ridiculous white woolly hat. He even wears it indoors when he’s eating. Yeah, anyone who brazenly wears a tea cosy on their head all day long, a tea cosy that makes their head look four times the size it really is, has never experienced any true pain. The only conflict they experience is deciding what porno video they should masturbate to or what shitty-ass band they should cram into their fucking iphone 4 (hmm, Drowning Pool or Rev Theory?). These people need a harsh dose of reality.

Reality rears its ugly head when they decide to do some night skiing. It’s pitch black but they somehow manage to talk their way onto the ski lift. No one else is being taken to the top but this doesn’t dissuade them. They continue to talk inane, asinine bullshit. Little do they know, though, that down below there are staffing issues. The lift operator is called away to talk to his boss and his replacement doesn’t realize that there are three people heading for the top. So the lift’s turned off.

The three hateful turds are stuck on the lift for no longer than, ooh, ten seconds before they start discussing the worst way to die. Tea cosy twat-face Dan thinks that it would be especially bad to be eaten by a shark. His idiotic friend, meanwhile, thinks that the girl on the Jaws poster is hot. ‘Naked chicks are hot.’ Why didn’t they just have a scene where the tosser pulled his shrivelled little member out and talked with it? ‘Naked chicks are hot. Blah, blah, blah! Tits, tits, tits! I never get any. I’m so sad! What did I do to deserve being stuck with this douchebag for eternity?’

But although the film references Jaws, it more closely resembles Open Water. However, Open Water was a pretty decent film. This, though, is atrocious. Sure there’s joy to be found in it. Mainly the joy of watching smug twenty-somethings getting eaten by wolves. But it’s a pretty feeble piece of writing and filmmaking.

To illustrate the level of writing on display here, there’s a scene where the girl starts telling everyone how much she needs to pee. Okay, this is a real concern if you’re trapped somewhere for a length of time. But the girl sounds so pathetic - so babyish and whinny. Plus she also actually says the following line: ‘I need to pee...wicked bad.’ That line probably got the biggest laugh out of me in the entire film. More even than the bit where tea cosy guy gets eaten by wolves.

Yeah, you heard me right, tea cosy guy gets eaten. He decides to be a hero and jumps off the ski lift. Only problem is that he’s a long way from the ground and breaks both of his legs. We see the bone sticking through his twisted limbs and he screams his head off. But the fucking tea cosy on his head remains stubbornly in place.

The effects for this horrible injury are pretty terrible. There’s a bit where he’s lying there in the snow and it looks like his head is poking through a trapdoor and that the body and legs are cheap prosthetics. The crunching of broken bones and squelching noises are also incredibly phony. Plus this injury does a very strange thing and actually makes Dan sound retarded. I know that pain can do lots of things to people, but there’s a moment where it actually sounds like his brain has been stabbed. ‘Mmmsdfsdf sdffsdfs legggssss huuurrrrtttt!’

The reward of all this is getting to watch Dan get eaten. Eventually he attracts the attention of a pack of wolves. At first the wolves are easily scared away but after a while they’re not so easily deterred. And there’s a brilliant moment, right before he gets devoured, where Dan draws his tea cosy over his face. Yeah, cover your bulbous bonce with that fucking thing. Make sure that the wolves don’t have to look at your annoying face when they’re tearing into your flesh. Although, having said this, I do wish that one of the wolves would have removed the hat with its paw and slapped him in the face with it...

Of course, Dan’s girlfriend and their toolish friend Lynch get to hear Dan’s screams. And Dan even manages to order his girlfriend not to look at the wolves when they’re having their elevenses. ‘Don’t let her look!’ he screams to Lynch. Oh, what a great guy! What a hero!

The range of emotions that follow this are both cringe-worthy and hilarious. Lynch and the girlfriend argue at first and then they console each other with hugs. Aww, bless. But Lynch is such a sleazebag that I was half-expecting him to ask her for a hand-job or something. ‘Go on, just a little one.’ Thankfully, this doesn’t happen, but then in an arse-puckering attempt to generate sympathy or emotion, the girl says how she has a puppy at home. But if she’s not home to take care of the puppy, the puppy is going to starve to death. But worse than this, the puppy is going to think it was abandoned. Really, you go to a ski slope to spend all day snowboarding and you don’t tell a neighbour or a friend to look after your dog for the day? It’s not a fucking cat - isn’t it going to just piss and shit everywhere and eat your sofa? Maybe if you told someone where you were going, you wouldn’t have to worry about your puppy eating its paws while crying its eyes out and whimpering, ‘I thought she loved me.’

Other humiliations follow. The girl falls asleep and gets her hand stuck to the ski lift rail and then later she pisses herself. This latter moment is especially mirthful because the flow of urine is immediately followed by a swelling orchestra. Is this meant to be a grand, emotional moment? Is this her nadir? This is worse than her boyfriend getting eaten by wolves?

More poorly conceived character development takes place and Lynch tells the girl how he once thought he’d met ‘the one’. Like him, she was also into Aerosmith! Please, wolves eat this bastard!

Thankfully, the wolves comply. You see, Lynch manages to pull some James Bond shit and climbs the ski lift wire hand over hand until he gets to a support pole - a pole that has a ladder on it. But no sooner has Lynch reached terra firma than some wolves have jumped on him and are having another snack.

This leaves just the girl. By some quirk of fate, the ski lift come crashing to the ground and she makes a bid for freedom. However, before she reaches the bottom of the slope, she stumbles upon the wolves feasting on Lynch. She backs away and eventually manages to reach the road. Brilliant! Her puppy now is not going to eat its own head! And everyone lives happily ever after...

...Except the girl then hears the voice of her boyfriend echo in her head. ‘You’re going to be okay, baby.’ And then hilariously, even though it appeared at the beginning of the film, the title ‘Frozen’ snaps onto the screen in huge letters. It’s meant to be a final punch in the face. ‘Take that - take my heavy-hitting film and try and digest it and then shit yourself because it was so traumatizing.’ But Frozen isn’t traumatizing. It’s a walk in the park.

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