Frostbite (aka Frostbiten) (2006) Review
Written by: BlackTequilaKiss
Frostbite aka Frostbitten is an exercise in how a horror-comedy should be. It contains enough blood and enough bite of comedy to work well together. Not only that but it does have a eloquent angle that work and the characters are a joy to watch from scene to scene.
I heard nothing of this film. It was literally unknown to me. Then I saw it on a DVD shelf for sale and something deep in me felt lured toward it. I brought it, watched it and now understand the power of the mind.
I've now finished seeing the movie. Frostbite works in two ways. It works as horror and starts off with a rather dark quality and then manages to weave into a horror-cum-comedy without pushing together and looking lost in the chaos. Destined to become a favourite of mine.
The Story behind the Story of Frostbitten
Annika and her 17-year old daughter, Saga move to a small town in Sweden after Annika secures a job at the local hospital. Keen to work with her idol, Professor Gerhard, she has no knowledge of his sinister past, until it appears to be too late. However it is not just Annika who is in trouble when a couple of pill-popping interns mistake a vaccine for party drugs. Chaos reigns as one by one the teenagers of the town succumb to the mysterious virus that affects them all...
Before the initial movie itself comes to attention, it opens with a camera panning over thick, luscious snow and then a sudden deluge of blood spreads across it. It's shocking, vibrant and eerily beautiful. The opening to set up the before is fantastic and gives us an understanding of what shall happen many years on.
What made this work was the characters and actors. More importantly, why them? Because in truth the movie starts slowly, after the initial opener which was quite fast-paced, it slows down. This is not by any means a flaw but requires actors/ actresses who can bring flavour and keep the movie moving at a nice even place and they do.
Petra Nielsen as Annika, a nice actress who played a lovely role. Did she stand out? At the beginning not so much, but as the movie progresses and she realises much of the truth, then I saw a more developed character who could give as good as she could get. Awesome!
Grete Havnesköld as Saga, fantastic name and in the same vein as 'Experience' from Black Sheep, it raised a chuckle at the innocence of the name and the actual name as well. As for Grete (Saga) I thought she was an admirably actress who really understood her role and what was required of her. I never saw an inch of pretentiousness but an actress who played quiet; innocent so well and then moved to fighter so effortlessly. She stole this movie for me and was brilliant.
Honourable mention to Emma T. Åberg as 'Vega' who played such a fun, lively character well. She was a joy to watch!
As to the music. Ah, the ethereal voices against a soft interlude of the score was just beautiful. If there is one thing I really must commend foreign speaking films on, it is the soundtrack that lulls in the background of the movie. It stands high and caresses the ears which lately has been lacking in the Hollywood horrors. It's no different on this. Against the backdrop of Sweden's snow covered grounds, it sounds amazing.
Shadows against snow in white darkness against the music? Sublime. I cannot fault it.
The cinematography is as you'd expect, lovely. Considering that a good chunk of the film is centred around either the dreary hospital or in the darkened town, the camerawork needed to be sharp. Not affording to dull at times and it doesn't. The darkness is dark without being muddy or lost in translation. It is admirable for a movie shot on such a budget.
Blood, guts and gore? Oh how I wish all horror movies would follow trend as this was some of the finest I have seen in such a while. None of which looks CGI-ed or overly done. Everything looked fantastic and when the party truly takes place, you feel you are within that moment. Yes the blood and gore looked 'real' not fake and they did what I have since longed to see in horror. P.S. The bunny scene is unintentionally hilarious so beware!
Vampire films exist by the many so it is hard to recreate the magic of this particular breed of monster. Where Frostbitten works is the writing of Daniel Ojanlatva and direction of Anders Banke. The direction is almost flawless, yes there are some moments that lacked but for the most part Banke creates a dark mood in town and shadows. He manages to make not just the vampires look ashen but everyone in town and that is a pretty damn smart job!
The writing from Ojanlatva is superb. The macabre undertone, the eerie presence throughout and the black humour all works so well together. He manages to find a common ground between each layer and still make the movie work as an whole. Relationships between mother and daughter are done to great length and the entire story is fleshed out beautifully. I could complain as the ending is a little of a let down but in truth everything aside from that blends well with each other.
Finding this movie was hard but it was worth it. I implore everybody to find this movie as it is one of the better Vampire movies I have seen in such a long time. Intelligent, beautiful and enough morose comedy makes Frostbitten an ice cold treat.
Popcorn is a must for this movie! Enjoy,
Bloody hugs. BTK.