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Jannicke, Morten Tobias, Eirik, Mikael and Ingunn are on a snowboarding vacation in Jotunheimen. They are forced to take shelter in an abandoned hotel when Morten Tobias breaks his leg and their car is too far away for them to reach within nightfall. They quickly discover that the hotel was closed in the seventies due to the disappearance of the managers' son. Unknown to them, someone is still living in the hotel, and getting home, or even surviving the stay, isn't as easy as they believe. Written by
Another Norwegian Film Worthy of International Attention
A group of friends go on a skiing trip... when tragedy strikes -- one of them breaks his ankle. Taking shelter in an old hotel, things seem to be okay for the time being, and one of them leaves to go for help. But wouldn't you know it? They've taken up residence in the home of a brutal, nasty killer.
My past associations with Norway are varied. When I was much younger, my family took in two Norwegian exchange students for a week. They were nice enough, though they had a strange aversion to showering. Instead, they relied heavily on Neutrogena, not coincidentally a Norwegian product. I have never used Neutrogena myself, but have a soft spot in my heart for it due to its spokeswoman being a huge love of mine...
Later, Norway arose again when a group of friends decided they would move to Norway following the 9/11 attacks, to live in a more peaceful country with more progressive values. They went so far as to learn Norwegian, and while I was not intimately involved in this, I did supply them with some Norwegian books and read a few of them.
A few years later, a Norwegian film crossed my desk -- "Naboer" ("Next Door"), one of the best films I had seen in a while, and very psychological. My past experiences of Norway on film were with "The Thing", so this really opened my eyes. And that was the last I saw of Norway, until now... with "Fritt Vilt" ("Cold Prey"), another winner.
This film really revives the slasher genre. I enjoyed the new "Friday the 13th", but felt it wasn't anything special. "Cold Prey" brought the idea home. A group of young people in isolation, hunted down and hacked to bits. That's horror gold, people. You can quote me on that -- horror gold. No clichés about drug use, sexual promiscuity or anything else... this plot is sold on good storytelling and bloodshed.
The film does start a bit slow, and this is intensified if you're not into reading subtitles. But there's a good cast (I especially enjoyed Viktoria Winge, whom I can't wait to see in the sequel) and the build up pays off. Even the killer stands out. He's not a mutant, not a revenge addict... when you finally get to see him, he's terrifying in his normality. Nothing supernatural here -- you get trapped in the mountains, and this guy might get you! This film should be available at all video stores and shopping centers.
I strongly urge a rental and perhaps even a purchase. It hit home for me, and I think many others will agree. (I also suggest tracking down "Naboer" if you haven't seen it yet, as the two would make a great couple for a Norwegian double feature.) If this is what the Norse have to bring us, I say long live Odin and long live Thor. I'm ready.
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