Dead Snow (2009)
I’m going to try my best to keep as much of the plot out of this review as possible as to not give any spoilers. Dead Snow is a 2009 Norwegian Horror Comedy film about a group of friends and hopeful lovers going to a cabin in the snow covered mountains for a get away trip that promises fun and hopefully, a little bumping uglys. The opening of the film sets the tone perfectly for what you’re going to be watching and is an easy highlight to the feature. From there on we are introduced to the characters. To be quite honest, they’re a little bland and really only serve to give us a forward look at the menu. The movie kind of drags the first 20 minutes or so, with the introduction of an outsider character that delivers a monologue about evil, as all crazy old men must do in horror movies. The first real kill doesn’t come in until about 30 minutes in, and the movie has the traditional false finish situations. You know the old cliche type situations in movies where someones looking for something, the scenery gets all dark and the music kicks up. Then a cat jumps out or something. Yeah there are a few of those kind of situations here. I will say though, once the action begins, it keeps up rather well, not feeling too rushed but not making you wait too long between scenes of violence and gore. And on another note, with so many movies today using CGI effects when it isn’t necessary, it’s good to see a horror film with a rather traditional focus on practical effects to get across the gore and death scenes. And that being said, there are a few death scenes in the movie that are a bit standard for this sort of thing, but some that are really good and throwbacks to good old 80’s horror. The movie sort of downplays our main characters, in a way which makes them zombie bait and nothing more. The male characters are all portrayed with a harsh stupidity and the female characters as almost helpless. We don’t root for them very well and as I said before, just wait for them to be chewed up. But this severe lack in character development kind of plays into another of the movies strengths, comedy. Dead Snow has a subtle sense of comedy from hilarious character reactions, to legitimately funny dialogue and moments that made me laugh, well chuckle really, out loud. This sort of haplessness portrayed by our victims makes the films second act pick up work even better than had it just been tons of blood. There’s even a couple solid homages to the Evil Dead Films in there. One real highlight to the movie is a hand to hand fight scene between one of the campers and a few of the zombies that comes across as a mix between a 1980’s Hulk Hogan wrestling match, Shaun of the Dead and the Captain Kirk vs Lizard Man fight that’s become such a popular internet meme. There’s even a little classic 007 thrown in there just for good measure. Some other good moments are the very interesting scene where one of the girls in the film is getting eaten, with the camera in first person as she comes to. But this buffet session has a nice comedic twist. Another good mention is a particular Zombie death that brings back to mind the “Put your face on the curb” moment from American History X. Now being a movie about Nazi Zombies (a topic that is at large relegated to Video Games), it’s kind of hard to not include some solid sense of humor. The zombie make up is solid for the most part and with the exception of one or two of the undead national socialists, they all for the most part look good. And as the films director Tommy Wirkola said “they are Nazi’s first, then Zombies”. In case you are interested to know, we’re not dealing with shuffling brain munchers in German WWII fatigues, we have fast, vicious, organized, Third Reich supporting, flash chopping, throat cutting all around evil bastard, full on Aryan and Nazi brain munchers. Another thing that needs to be mentioned is the music. To be honest it;s kind of hard to place. You see, because this is a foreign film, we get foreign music. So I’m doubting that anyone will recognize any of the songs present. But the movie crosses over a few different genres. And that;s definitely a problem. The Norwegian Scream metal song just doesn’t work in this film. But for all of the music that doesn’t work, there are some moments that have songs that are just perfect. The noteworthy opening and when our cannibal chow heroes gear up for their final battle against the SS from hell. Overall, this movie is pretty well done. It has a good balance of comedy and gore, even if there isn’t a scare to be found. It’s definitely a film I would recommend, especially if you liked films like Tucker and Dale vs Evil, the Evil Dead series, Cabin in the Woods, and Shaun of the Dead. And by the way, the last 15 minutes of this movie are great. So take the time and check out Dead Snow. It’s absolutely worth a rental or a watch on Netflix, and pick it up if you can find it for under $20.
My Final Rating: 82%
Not as Good to me as: Dead Alive
On Par to me with: Tucker and Dale vs Evil
Better to me than: Survival of the Dead