No, we are not going to talk about that movie. There will be no royal sisters or a monster named Marshmallow here. We’re looking at the Frozen movie that premiered years before the Disney animated flick.
Frozen is the story of longtime friends Joe and Dan who take a trip to a ski resort with Dan’s girlfriend, Parker. It seems that Parker is not an experienced skier and the time she spends on the bunny slope is putting a damper on Joe’s fun. The ski resort is going to close early due to a storm moving towards the area. The three friends beg a ski lift operator for one last trip up the mountain and he relents. Unfortunately for the trio, the lift is shut down while they are still on it and they find themselves trapped high above the ground during a brutally cold night. They find themselves faced with the prospect of dying from exposure to the elements. As if that were not bad enough, a pack of hungry wolves roam the grounds below now that the ski resort has closed.
I have mused before about the suspension of disbelief when watching horror films and it is funny how inconsistent that can be. The dead have risen and are attacking the living? Sure, I can accept that. A trio of friends are stuck on a ski lift for days? I have a lot more difficulty buying that premise. Ski resorts have policies in place to prevent that from happening. After all, no company wants that liability, right?
Except that it did happen. A woman named Nadine Price was trapped on a ski lift for five hours and was eventually awarded a $750,000 judgment. Okay, it is improbable but it could happen and maybe that makes Frozen a little scarier.
Frozen is an unusual horror movie in the sense that there is no real villain. I suppose you could count the wolves but they were not evil or unnatural – they were hungry and following their instincts. The main characters are pitted against the environment and the drama is centered around what they must endure and their dialogue with each other.
The effects of suffering through a freezing night are very well done. The sight of Parker’s skin being torn from her hand after resting it on freezing cold metal made me wince in sympathy. While there is some blood and gore in the film, it is actually rather tame compared to other horror movies. The horror aspect from Frozen does not come from jump scares or grisly imagery but rather from the characters enduring a frightening situation. If I had to complain about anything, I wish there would have been a bit more conflict between the three while stuck on the ski lift. Imagine not only being stuck in a terrible situation but also in conflict with the people sharing that fate with you. With that said, this is an underrated flick in my opinion.
Fun fact: Frozen is set in the same universe as the Hatchet series. In fact, Parker makes a cameo in Hatchet II. Check out the television playing in the shop and you’ll see her.