DIRECTED BY: Tommy Wirkola
FEATURING: Vegar Hoel, Charlotte Frogner, and other professional but fairly interchangable Scandinavian actors
PLOT: Eight medical students travel to a remote ski cabin for a little rest and relaxation,
only to find the snowbound retreat is haunted by pesky Nazi zombies.
WHY IT WON’T MAKE THE LIST: If it’s weird, it’s weird in a familiar way. There’s a powerful “been there, done that” feel here that will satisfy those who just want to have another laugh in the face of the upcoming zombie apocalypse.
COMMENTS: Despite garnering some minor praise after a successful midnight run at Sundance in 2009, Dead Snow is a derivative and dull affair—until a derivative but no-longer-dull final half hour, when it redeems itself with a nonstop, intestine spewing Nazi zombie slayathon that sweeps away all logical objections in a river of blood. Even the key conceit of fascists as undead villains is nothing new—see Shock Waves (1977), Zombie Lake (1980), Oasis of the Zombies (1981)—it’s just that it hasn’t been done in quite a while. The only thing that’s somewhat original about Dead Snow is the setting: I can’t remember a zombie movie that’s been played out in a winter wonderland (to better show the blood splatters on the virgin snow). The setup seems to drag on forever, with eight medical students driving and hiking to a cabin in the scenic mountains, snowmobiling, listening to Scandinavian pop-metal, playing board games and drinking beer, and all of the time not making much of an impression as characters. Eventually a grizzled old man from Oslo central casting wanders into the cabin to tell them the backstory about a unit of Nazis who hid some treasure in the region before the locals massacred them with farm implements. Low-impact deaths of minor characters occasionally lighten the mood. Dead Snow is a comedy, but mostly in the sense that it doesn’t take itself seriously, not in a way that makes you laugh. The movie hits every possible horror movie cliche on its way to the final slaughter. Instead of going to the trouble of thinking up some original Continue reading CAPSULE: DEAD SNOW [DØD SNØ] (2009)