Review: Frost / Cert: 15 / Director: Reynir Lyngdal / Screenplay: Jon Atil Jonasson / Starring: Bjorn Thors, Anna Gunndis, Helgi Bjornsson, Valur Freyr Einarsson / Release Date: February 10th
Given that Iceland’s most distributed film of all time is 2009’s Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre, it’s no surprise that RWWM’s producers Julius Kemp and Ingvar Thordarson are trying to recreate that film’s success with another horror feature, working with director Lyngdal to bring us Frost.
The story here centres on Agla (Gunndis) and Gunnar (Thors), a couple who find themselves stranded, alone and spooked, atop a glacier. Agla is a researcher and, along with some colleagues, has been carrying out work on the glacier, whilst Gunnar is her filmmaker partner who has come to visit her. Events take a sinister turn when erratic flashing lights appear in the sky and strange, aggressive rumblings emanate from the treacherous depths below them. Things only get creepier when they finally manage to find some of Anna’s colleagues, who happen to have blood pouring from their noses and are acting a tad peculiar.
Unfortunately, what is a visually stunning film – it was filmed on an actual glacier, y’know? – with an interesting premise is often let down by a flat story and the found footage shooting technique at its worst. It’s fair to say that the way Frost is shot assaults your sense, but not in a good way. Rather than feeling uneasy, on edge and awaiting slow, peek-through-your-fingers reveals, the viewer is more likely to experience extreme motion-sickness thanks to the distinct absence of terra firma.
Whilst the film does start promisingly enough, the filmmakers seem as lost as those on screen. Even though Frost clocks in at around the 1 hour 15 minute mark, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d been dragged in for Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy; it just seems drawn out, dull and energy-sapping.
In terms of positives, as mentioned, some of the scenery is beautiful to look at, and there’s a nice score to accompany the sombre mood of the picture. The performances are also decent enough, particularly from Gunndis and Thors as the film’s leads, but you just feel as if they’re fighting an uphill battle.
If you like uninspired, uneventful, nicely-set films that seem to spend the majority of their time using shaky cam shots of lost Norwegians shouting “hello?”, then Frost may be for you. For everyone else, there are a lot better movies out there, Renny Harlin’s The Dyatlov Pass Incident for one.
Extras: Making Of