By Eric Snider -- reprint from 1/24/10 -- Sundance Film Festival
You can picture Adam Green, the writer and director of Frozen, sitting on a ski lift one day, idly thinking, "What if I fell off? How high above the ground am I? No! What if the lift stopped moving and they couldn't get it started? What if I was trapped here!" We all have our moments of morbid fantasizing, but what separates Adam Green from me and you is that he turns his dark "what if?" scenarios into movies. His Hatchet had tourists terrorized in the swamps of Louisiana; Frozen pits the heroes against Mother Nature herself, that wanton trollop.
The setting is a ski resort in New England, where three college students are trying to talk their way onto the lift without buying tickets. Dan (Kevin Zegers) and Joe (Shawn Ashmore), best friends since grade school, come skiing here regularly, but today Joe is miffed because Dan has brought along his girlfriend, Parker (Emma Bell), in a flagrant violation of the Bros Before Hoes policy.
No one likes being the third wheel; it doesn't help that Joe and Parker don't really get along, each jealous of the other's relationship with Dan. It's the same old story: "We haven't seen you at Fezziwig's for dollar pitcher night all semester!" Joe complains. What, Dan would rather spend time with his beautiful girlfriend than drink cheap beer? It's like Joe doesn't even know him anymore.