Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Cold Prey, Norway vs. The Slasher

With the winter Olympics in Russia next month, I will be cheering for Norway, especially if Ingrid Bolso Berdal leads their team into the opening ceremonies.  Berdal (Chernobyl Diaries and Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters) stars as Jannicke in this Norwegian 2006 slasher film "Cold Prey" (Fritt Vilt), set in the beautiful mountains of Norway.  Norway doesn't need a crying figure skater, exuding weakness and emotion representing their proud nation.  No....Jannicke (Berdal) only exudes..."No ax-wielding psycho is gonna take me!  Nope...I'm gonna murder him first!"  Gotta love this character!
The plot:  Five typical slasher film characters go snowboarding in the mountains.  Jannicke and her boyfriend, Eirik who are wrestling with a decision to move in together, Ingunn and Mikal, who play kissy-face every chance they get (can you guess who gets it first?), and Morton, the goofy fifth wheel (can you guess who gets it third?) are portrayed very well.  Morton breaks his leg, and the five must find shelter.  They limp to an abandoned ski resort, which has been vacant for 40 years...but why?  Jannicke then builds a splint for Morton, rummages for supplies, nurses Morton, finds pain-killers and explores the premises while her buddies just fool around.  She finds many interesting details while exploring this creepy resort, unfortunately the missing ax from the fire box goes practically unnoticed. Of course, someone else is in the resort, and he and his pick-ax start victimizing the unlucky quintet.  Once they realize what they're up against, Jannicke mobilizes and is determined to kill the homicidal lunatic and leave no one behind.  She even constructs a sled so she can pull Morton through the snow...none of the guys stepped up here.  The ending is horrific, but the best part is that Jannicke kicks some more rear-end in "Cold Prey 2", which is one of the best horror movies over the past 10 years, and will be on this blog within the week.

The ax-psycho's story is revealed throughout this film, and it is an eerie one.  The director, Roar Uthaug, does a fine job combining the snowy scenery into the ominous horror faced by these youngsters.  Berdal is officially on my Top Ten list of modern day actresses! If you read this, Ms. Berdal, keep making movies with an edge and eschew roles in romantic-comedies. 20th century Norway had Roald Amundsen, but 21st century Norway has Jannicke!  If you think I'm overstating this, after you see "Cold Prey 2," you will understand.   

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