I had such high hopes for this movie but was ultimately frustrated, pissed off, and bored. I had read reviews calling COLD PREY the “most perfect slasher movie ever made,” and being that this was made in Norway I figured I’d at least get some beautiful scenery and good gore. Nope. What we get is a by-the-numbers slasher flick with horribly slow pacing, no gore or scares, and a truly ridiculous “reveal.”
The movie starts with a group of likable friends going snowboarding in a remote location (is there any better place to snowboard?). Everything is going great until Morten Tobias (Rolf Kristian Larsen) snaps his leg in a scene that will make you curl up into the fetal position hugging your own appendage. Savor this scene people; it’s the most “extreme” and graphic this flick gets. The gang decides that since they won’t be able to reach their car before night fall they’ll wander over to the conveniently placed abandoned hotel over yonder (nothing bad ever happens at abandoned hotels, right?). Once at the hotel the movie comes to a grinding halt. Seriously; this stops faster than a fat person walking in front of a bakery. Some s**t happens … SLOWLY … and they all learn that the hotel was closed down in the 1970’s after the owners’ son went missing and was never found again. But wait; there seems to be someone still living in the hotel after all these years. I wonder …
Ok; first the positives. This has a beautiful and isolated location that believably explains why no one can use their cell phones. Writer-director Roar Uthaug (nice name) also does a great job utilizing that location and creating an extremely claustrophobic feel, even though the space they’re in is wide open. I also enjoyed the characters. We get to “know” them as individuals before the (gore-less) action starts. I also really enjoyed that the cast doesn’t behave and act stupid. They didn’t do the typical slasher movie stuff (having sex, doing drugs, playing jokes on each other, etc …). These elements did indeed elevate the movie above the typical slasher flick.
But we all know that with ‘positives’ there must also be ‘negatives’. In a nut shell this movie just wasn’t all that exciting. The director really wanted to develop a sense of isolation, and he did with the location but he just couldn’t create any kind of suspense or tension. This movie needed to shave off about 25 to 30 minutes in order to tighten up the scenes. This would’ve also created a better atmosphere because lets face it, the second and third acts dragged on waaay too long. And as far as the gore goes; other than that awesome compound leg fracture, that’s about it. A big bloody smear on the floor indicating that someone has been dragged away just doesn’t cut it today. And the last nail in the coffin for me was the killer and his “back story.” Really really lame. If you can’t spot the killer in the first 10 minutes of this movie than you are either too young to be watching this movie or ya just ain’t paying attention!! And the killers’ back story feels like it was tagged on at the very end. Like I said, very disappointing.
So what happened to this being a perfect slasher flick? That quote comes from Ain’t it Cool News, an online movie review mecca run by the very well-respected Harry Knowles. There COLD PREY is described as “Probably the most perfect slasher movie ever made.” One of two things must have occurred here: No one over at Ain’t it Cool News actually watched this film, or two, those guys need to get out there and watch more slasher flicks! This is far from being the “most perfect” slasher flick ever made. There was a lot of potential here, but Roar Uthaug just doesn’t know what it takes to make a solid slasher, or horror for that matter, film. That’s right folks; another film with shitty execution. Skip this one.
Director: Roar Uthaug (and writer)
Plot: 2 out of 5 stars
Gore: 1.5 out of 10 skulls
Zombie Mayhem: 0 out of 5 brains
Reviewed by Scott Shoyer