Fritt Vilt 1 & 2 / Cold Prey 1 & 2)
So the time was that Korea and Japan had the horror industry by the short and curlies while the rest of the world could only be a bit jealous and bitch about how they hadn’t thought of doing that first (except in the case of Hollywood who thought the answer was to buy up the rights and remake these foreign masterpieces and just about screw up every aspect that was good about them in the first place – see The Ring, The Grudge or Dark Water for further details ..)
They weren’t afraid to push boundaries with subtle supernatural imagery that just plain creeped people out and interlace it with twists and gore for some pretty damn perfect films. Of course, America tried to claw some respect back with trying their hand at some halfway decent torture porn (Saw, Hostel, and the more recent Train which is merely a poor mans Hostel featuring Thora Birch) but still it was left lacking – it always feels like the big studios are far too afraid to go the extra mile in terms of shock and gore, and it shows.
The past few years though Europe (particularly France, Norway and Sweden) have been slowly but surely upping their game by producing some of the most original horror with films like Martyrs, Rec, Frontiers, Let The Right One In and now Cold Prey.
I realise some people have a phobia of foreign films or television – the stigma of being too arty or intellectual seems to stick like glue (these folk obviously have never watched a Kung Fu film in their entire lives!) or in other cases people say they’re just too damn lazy to read the subtitles – to those folk I say ‘’friend , if you can read the phone numbers on the bottom of the screen for Dickhead Factor or Britain’s Got Wannabies then I’m pretty sure you’re just about qualified to watch a foreign movie‘’.
And on the plus side watching foreign films can make you seem mildly worldly. Mildly anyway. To be more worldly you may have to travel further a field than say Blackpool and might have to read something other than The Sun newspaper.
I know right? Being worldly sounds mighty hard work!
Anyway….. Cold Prey on the surface seems like a pretty standard set up for a slasher – group of friends go snowboarding in a remote snow covered landscape (proof that no good can ever come from any sort of sport or unnecessary physical activity), someone gets a particularly realistic leg break and they have to take shelter in a weird ass abandoned hotel in the middle of YourRoyallyScrewedBecauseThere’sNo one HereToHelpYouVille – jeez you’d think when they saw the name on the map they’d have had reservations about the whole thing, but I guess there’s just no helping some people
So its all familiar territory and yeah the story isn’t particularly original (think Wrong Turn plus Snow minus fugly inbreeds), but the difference is that these people can really act – the heroine Jannicke is like a Nordic Ripley (Sigourney Weaver in Alien people – do your homework!), and it honestly is refreshing to watch a slasher that doesn’t feature a bunch of dead eyed fame hungry whores that are a botched boob job away from prostitution – Tara Reid I am looking at you.
The beautiful setting, the atmospheric score make these tense and engaging films even though you know what’s coming most of the time.
Cold Prey 2- any good you ask? Well it’s a horror sequel so its got to be worse than a trip to the dentist – rehashed story, only a few original characters, makes you feel a little cheap and dirty (just me then? Ahem moving on ..) – ola crapola yes?
Nope this one actually does not suck.
Following the aftermath of its predecessor the story takes place in a remote hospital in the mountains where the survivors recuperate from their ordeal all safe and snugly in some pretty nasty nylon pyjamas supplied by the hospital – but you know that wont last long because well duh, it’s a horror.
Its impossible for a slasher film to be perfect – by nature they are formulaic and henceforth predictable but Cold Prey manages to be good and that, in these cynical times is no mean feat, so you know, kudos to all involved for not boring me to death or subjecting me to z- list idiots trying to scrape a living running around screaming in a tight top – Tara Reid I’m talking to you again.