Movie Review: Dead Snow

DeadSnow08Today a friend and i went downtown to see the Norwegian film, Dead Snow. The image to the left really tells you most of what you need to know about this movie before going to see it. Its about Nazi Zombies, in winter, and  in bad weather.

The core plot fo the film is simple. A group of college students — apparently all medical students — take a vacation into the Norwegian mountains for skiing and fun. Once there and cut off from help there as assault by the Third Reich’s finest, but in undead form.

So any connoisseur of zombie films will have this question pop to the top of their minds, What kind of Zombies are these?

First, these are fast zombies, capable of running down a sprinting person and chowing on their remains. Second, these are moderately intelligent zombies capable of using simple tools and weapons, but not the guns they have stashed about. However a knife wielding zombie is still a frightening thing to behold. Third these are not invulnerable zombies. A person does not have to inflect serious head trauma to down one of these zombies, machine guns to the torso would work just fine.

Now the question is what kind of movie is this? Sadly the answer is that this is a muddled film. The filmmakers swung back and froth from scenes of serious horror and revulsion to scenes of farce and camp. The result was a film without a definite tone and that caused the film to suffer. There are elements of this film that works  quite nicely, both with horror and with comedy, but total package never gelled together. It was entertaining, but only as a one time sunday afternoon kind of thing.

The film also suffered from basic story construction problems. The writers and/or the directors did not understand how to use establishment. If you are going to use a shotgun in the second and third acts it has to appear in the first act, or be rationally explained in it sudden presence. This is a very common establishment problem, but the filmmakers also managed to reverse this problem.  They established things in the first act that were never referenced or used again in the movie. If you tell me in the first thirty minutes of a story that one character can’t stand the sight of blood and another character is a claustrophobe then these should be important story points later one, not dropped to the way side like a forgotten package.

However, this was not the biggest flaw in the film. It is a spoiler so if you want to know, follow me through the jump. Otherwise just take it that this is a mildly entertaining, but flawed movie.

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