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Below Zero (2011)

4.5
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Ratings: 4.5/10 from 565 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 15 critic

Based on true events, BELOW ZERO is a thriller with a 'Fargo' feel. It is the story of 'Jack the Hack', a less than average, but once successful screenwriter who now faces writer's block. ... See full summary »

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Title: Below Zero (2011)

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Cast

Credited cast:
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...
Gunnar
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Penny / Paige
Dee Hanna ...
Mrs. Hatcher
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Morty / David
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Storyline

Based on true events, BELOW ZERO is a thriller with a 'Fargo' feel. It is the story of 'Jack the Hack', a less than average, but once successful screenwriter who now faces writer's block. Desperate to meet a career-saving deadline and lock out the distractions of his troubled life, Jack arranges to be left alone and locked inside a meat cooler, with only vegetarian meals and his imagination to inspire him. As the temperature drops, the lines between reality and fiction blur, and Jack's script comes dangerously to life. Will he make the most important deadline of his career? Or is Jack 'just a hack'? While writing the script, the actual screenwriter and producer of BELOW ZERO, Signe Olynyk, arranged to have herself physically locked in the meat freezer of an abandoned, remote slaughterhouse. That's partly how this story developed. It was filmed at the same location. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

There's nothing scarier than a blank page.

Genres:

Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some bloody violence | See all certifications »

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2012 (Canada)  »

Also Known As:

Terror Abaixo de Zero  »

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Budget:

$1,200,000 (estimated)
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User Reviews

 
Good idea ruined by bad directing
9 November 2012 | by See all my reviews

The basic premise of the movie is that of a horror story writer seeking some inspiration for writing his latest story, by going to a rural farm where he'll have some peace and quiet, and a prearranged eerie atmosphere given that he'll stay inside the farm's slaughterhouse. As he'll soon find out, he got more than he bargained for. Nothing too original about the storyline, but it's always a good starting point for a horror movie.

The problem was that the story didn't develop in a coherent way and many of the subsequent twists and turns in the plot seemed both trivial and unnecessary. There was no real moment of horror nor was there any eerie atmosphere throughout the movie. Many horror movies get away with bad scripts thanks to good directing, where a build-up of atmosphere and the occasional horror moment draw you into the story and make you forget about any plot holes or incoherence.

The problem here was that there was no real atmosphere. Partly, this was due to bad character casting. Miss "piggy laugh" was way too young and ordinary-looking for her role as some redneck farm lady, and the main character seemed more like a bored heavy metal-loving teenager than a professional horror writer fighting his inner daemons. Even so, the director could have saved the day with some "camera magic", adding a few extra flashback moments here and there and backing up the dialogs with fitting background music, just to get some atmosphere going. That's what separates good directors from bad, good directors don't just follow the script as a textbook manual and leave it up to the actors to make or break the movie, especially not when it's plain obvious that the main actors are unable to carry out their parts properly.


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