4 out of 5

Director: Adam Green

Hm. Adam Green is carving up a respectable corner of the horror/thriller genre with energized spins on film formulas. “Frozen,” though perhaps pigeon-holed as a type of disaster film, first comes up with a fun take on the theme – three friends getting trapped on a ski lift after closing time – and does as “Hatchet” did before it in that it balances human inanity with smarts to keep the plot moving. But this is certainly a darker and more chilling affair than the tongue-in-cheek Hatchet, with many sequences that truly get you on edge, pleading for the characters to not do that, or to get out of the way, etc. What’s perfect about the setup is that there’s no great way out – while there are some things you might do different in the scenario, the arrangement of events is (to a lay, non-skiing person like me) conceivable and the conclusions derived by the characters are perhaps not thought completely out, but also logical. “Hatchet” suffered from an inability to make you care about the characters and the same happens here. The dialogue is believable but these people are, alas, just people, and are likable enough to watch for 94 minutes but you’re not too involved in their fate, per se, as much as the pace of the film. Still: Green is making solid, entertaining movies that are worth the price of admission (or DVD), and that’s rare nowadays.

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