Update: The story was originally published on Apr 7, 2009. DEAD SNOW is now available on IN DEMAND stations nationwide and in limited release theatrically. Check out a listing of theaters at the official IFC site!
Who would have thought that Norway would be a place where we’d find good horror? Cold Prey 1 and 2, Rovdyr, the upcoming SKJULT (Hidden), and now Dead Snow. Coming this June from IFC Films in limited theatrical release and VOD, Dead Snow is a Norwegian horror comedy that really packs on as much humor as it does gore.
Though not quite as good as Cold Prey (which it will undoubtedly be compared to, even though the two films are nothing alike), Dead Snow is really more like watching Norway’s version of Cabin Fever, if you threw in Nazi Zombies.
Check out my full review after the jump.
In Dead Snow, a group of medical students meet up for an Easter vacation in the mountains to basically party up at a cabin for a long weekend. They do the usual – tubing through the snow, drinking beer, having sex in the outhouse (yeah, it’s as gross as it sounds)…then an old guy comes upon the cabin while hiking through the snow. After insulting their coffee, exposition guy then proceeds to tell them about the history of these mountains – how back in WWII, Colonel Herzog and a band of Nazis were cruel to the residents and the residents banded together, chasing them into the mountains, where they froze to death. The next day, they find a box of gold under the floorboards, and accidentally awaken the nazis, who waste no time in taking the students out as violently as possible.
First things first – Dead Snow is gory as hell. It makes no bones about its violence – limbs are hacked off, faces are bludgeoned, there are quite a bit of intestines thrown around, a character has to sew up a bite in his OWN NECK…it’s definitely heavy on the red stuff, which is all done with the tongue-in-cheek humor you’d pretty much expect from a movie about zombie Nazis. If you’re looking for a serious zombie film, or even a serious horror film, you’ll not be happy. Dead Snow is more in the company of films like the aforementioned Cabin Fever, or even Evil Dead 2 to a certain extent. Darkly comedic horror films that set up the characters for quite a while before things get bloody.
The characters in the film, while none of them are entirely identifiable or even likeable, are at least not the typical cliched kind you’re used to seeing in films like these. They’re medical students, so you’re not going to see the crazy punk rocker, or the goth chick – you’d believe that this group would be friends, and the fact that there’s really not a bad actor in the bunch is definitely a plus. In addition, the direction by Tommy Wirkola is solid. This film is gorgeous to look at. The snow capped mountains and the beautiful hillsides really make for some striking images, especially when you throw in nazi zombies. My hope is for a future Blu-Ray release, though that hasn’t really been IFC Film’s M.O. in the past. Maybe there’ll be an import I can buy online.
One of the strongest aspects of any horror film, especially one like this, needs to be its kills, and Dead Snow has some of the most imaginative kills I’ve seen in quite a while. Though none are entirely different in theory, the way they’re filmed, and the great gore effects, add to the experience. While the entire film is nothing new, the fact of the matter is that it’s still a fresh take on a tired genre, and manages to feel original. Plus, it’s about nazi zombies, which…well, isn’t that worth the price of admission? Check out the NSFW trailer below:
Check out Dead Snow when it premieres this June in limited theatrical release (probably REALLY limited) or on your On-Demand stations.
Paul’s Awesomeness Score – 8 out of 10!