Also known as Dead Snow here in the states (does that mean the Norwegian way of saying OW is ø?), this film is about a group of youngsters on Easter vacation that decide to spend their time in a cabin in the middle of a winter wonderland. In case the poster doesn’t give it away, it turns out they have stumbled into a winter wünderland! Get it? Because the Nazi’s were German? Glad you’re still here with me. Anyways, the kids are trying to have a grand old time when a mysterious old man stops by their cabin and tells them they are spoiled, their coffee sucks, and that Nazis used to live there 50 years prior. Surprisingly, it turns out these Nazis are still running around as weird ambiguous quasi-zombies. I say quasi-zombies because throughout the film, you never really find out if they are zombies are not, which I actually kind of enjoyed. By labeling any movie as a straight up zombie movie, you are guaranteed someone like me will pick it up and give it a whirl. It reminds me much more of earlier horror films, like Night of the Living Dead or The Last Man on Earth, where the creatures are somewhat ambiguous “ghouls” and the director can make up whatever rules they want. Multiple characters are bitten, yes, but they rarely survive long enough to find out whether or not they would turn into the living dead.
Nazis hate the cold
With a cast of young characters, it’s easy to turn the personality quirks to 11 to make sure everyone’s roles are clearly defined, so I enjoyed that most of these characters were likable (for the most part). Whether or not that means you cared if they lived or died isn’t exactly what I’m saying, but you weren’t secretly hoping for anyone’s demise. One of the funnier aspects was the character Erlend (played by Jeppe Laursen) who establishes himself as a movie geek early in the film, so you kind of anticipate being annoyed by him. That all changes in the scene where the group is walking to the cabin and Erlend mentions how many other movies start off that way, which turned into a great opportunity for the writer/director Tommy Wirkola to drop some knowledge on Evil Dead 2, as well as a love connection being made by referencing April Fool’s Day. It was nice to see early on that Wirkola was clearly a guy you could trust. So it came as no surprise when Erlend is seen shortly after wearing a t-shirt with the poster for Peter Jackson’s Braindead (a.k.a. Dead Alive).
The plot might not be anything too interesting, but it’s not necessarily bad, and I do have to say I was pleasantly surprised with the special effects. I am assuming that maybe there was a discount if you bought fake intestines in bulk, because I can’t remember a movie that had so many scenes involving someone’s entrails being played with. The final battle was also pretty blood-soaked, filled with all sort of limb severing, decapitations, and brain pulverizing. Add that in with the head being ripped into two pieces early on in the movie, and you have yourself quite a gory little film, and you never get sick of seeing that bright white snow get stained by all that blood. All in all, a mediocre story with enough blood and humor to keep you interested and entertained.
Wolfman Moon Scale