DEAD SNOW (2009)
-Review by Nic Brown-
DEAD SNOW is a fun, gory film! Wirkola and co-writer Stig Frode Henriksen take some of the most common horror elements: a remote location, partying students, and zombies; and they make something original from the mix. The film makes no bones about its origins; one of the characters is a horror movie fanatic who even points out how many films start with a group of students heading off to a remote cabin in the woods for the weekend, only to be killed off one by one. There are also many scenes that pay tribute to films such as EVIL DEAD as well as the classic zombie films of George Romero.
DEAD SNOW also has excellent on-screen
chemistry between the cast members, which helps enhance the
audience’s empathy for them and their situation. Wirkola makes
excellent use of the film’s scenic location, using it to create
a sense of vastness that, at the same time, invokes feelings of
isolation. His zombies have a special quality to them as well.
Although not overly intelligent, they are not mindless
automatons stumbling through the wilderness. The zombies still
follow the command of their old leader, Colonel Herzog, and this
gives them a menacing since of coordination that most zombie
hordes don’t have. It would have been nice to learn more about
Herzog and his men and why they are roaming the mountains of
Filled with equal amounts of humor and gore, DEAD SNOW manages to strike a successful balance that keeps the film entertaining from start to finish. While DEAD SNOW doesn’t break much new ground with its set up: “Hey let’s go for a fun weekend in an isolated cabin in the woods…” it is well made, well acted, and it also has Nazi zombies and that goes a long way for originality. So check out the newest European horror export: Tommy Wirkola’s DEAD SNOW and remember - just because the idea of going to a cabin in the woods and being attacked by zombies is a little cliché, doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen to you!