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Dead Snow (2009)

  Tags: blood, comedic, dead snow, Død snø, gore, Norway, Norwegian, zombedy, Zombie Movies

Your rating: None Average: 6.4 (14 votes)
Reviewer Rating: 

Rating #: 
Tommy Wirkola
91 minutes
Jenny Skavlan, Ane Dahl Torp, Stig Frode Henriksen, Bjørn Sundquist, Charlotte Frogner, Jeppe Beck Laursen, Vegar Hoel, Evy Kasseth Røsten, Lasse Valdal, Ørjan Gamst

Norway has been dishing out some decent horror flicks recently, specifically the Cold Prey films. A zombie effort was bound to happen, and the fact that it had a snow setting, and what!? Nazi zombies!? Could it get any better? Sadly, the film wasn't as good as I had hoped. I wanted to like the movie, but when you peel away the snow and the Nazi stuff, it's just an average zombie flick. Also branding it a comedy was rather misleading, as it really doesn't offer much comedy to begin with, and the comedy it does have isn't even very funny. However, the film did know how to pay tribute to some of the greats from the genre, specifically Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn, which is always a plus for us fans.

The story is pretty simple -- a group of medical students head to the snowy mountain side for a little vacation fun at a friend's cabin. What they don't know is that the friend they were meeting with has already been ravaged by the army of zombies that lay-wait beneath the snow. The local legend details the torture and starvation of the townspeople by an evil Nazi Colonel and his men when they occupied the town during WWII. The townspeople finally had enough and revolted against the Colonel's tyranny, forcing him and his men to flee into the mountains, where they were never heard from again. They're believed to have been frozen to death, but the colonel's greed causes him and his men to rise from their frozen graves.

The film offers a quick kill in the beginning and another kill around 20-minutes in, but the real zombie action doesn't actually begin until half way. The first half of the film is a bit slow-paced, as we get to know the characters and learn the legend about the area (thanks to a mysterious traveler). When you compare the first to the second half, it's actually pretty different in many aspects. For one, we don't actually see any of the zombies. Instead, we're given a lot of moody atmosphere and some shadowy silhouettes, which surprisingly worked pretty well, making a couple scenes somewhat creepy.

However, all that ends when the zombies finally attack the cabin, but we're treated to a great gory kill, as one of the dudes gets his head ripped in half! Sadly, that's the extent of the awesome kills. The rest of the flick offers your standard ripping of limbs, etc.., but at least they didn't skimp on the blood. Although they're zombies, they still liked using their knives to take care of the group, which was a bit disappointing, but at least they weren't firing weapons! The movie has its fair share of plot-holes (as most zombie flicks do), so I suppose I can dismiss a mounted machine gun randomly appearing on a snowmobile, or the lion-grounding sound effect the zombies made when they were breathing (why are they breathing anyway?).

Then, when you think you'll see a sweet showdown between the zombie Colonel and the remaining survivors towards the end, we’re instead given a pretty mediocre finale. In fact, much of the film is pretty mediocre. Had the director gone the mysterious and atmospheric route of the first half, I think this would have been a fairly unique zombie effort. Regardless, I still liked the setting, the Nazi zombies, and the gore wasn't too bad. I was entertained to an extent, but wished for more to come out of it in the end.

A film with a lot of lost potential. Strip away the snow setting and Nazi zombies and you're given a pretty standard zombie flick. Although branded a horror comedy, there's actually very little comedy and what it did have wasn't very funny. In the end I still enjoyed it to an extent, as it offered some decent blood and gore and kept my interest. Check it if you're looking to watch some Nazi zombies, but don't expect much otherwise.

Posted on July 2, 2009 - 6:22am | FrighT MasteR