Just us, the cameras, and those wonderful people out there in the dark...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Maythew #3: Dead Snow (2009)

* * 1/2

Director: Tommy Wirkola
Starring: Vegar Hoel, Lasse Valdal, Evy Kassen Rosten, Stig Frode Henriksen, Charlotte Frogner, Jeppe Laursen, Jenny Skavlan

Rules for fighting Nazi zombies:
1. If you're in a group, don't split up
2. The time to try the cell phone to call for help is before the group splits up and you've accidentally set the cabin you're standing in on fire
3. Try not to set the cabin you're standing in on fire
4. Don't tap someone on the shoulder when they're in the middle of fighting a bunch of zombies (and, as an aside, what are you even doing there - you were supposed to be making your way back to the car!)
5. If your friend is about to be torn limb from limb by a bunch of zombies and you're standing about 20 feet away holding a weapon maybe you should, you know, help him out?

Dead Snow is pretty much what you'd expect from a movie about Nazi zombies, unless of course you're expecting any kind of explanation as to how said Nazis became zombies. Let's just take it for granted that it happening is a perfectly reasonable occurance, shall we? The film opens with a jaunty chase through darkened woods and the gruesome death of a young woman. The woman is (well, was) Sara who was to meet her boyfriend Vegard (Lasse Valdal) and their friends at her family's cabin for a weekend away. The others arrive at the remote locale the following morning, wonder where Sara is, and then get the drinking and debauchery started without her. It isn't until a mysterious man shows up in the middle of the night and informs them of the area's nasty history that they start to worry and shortly after that the bloodshed starts in earnest.

Dead Snow is a horror movie in the tradition of Scream, constructed with a lot of self-referentiality and a tongue in cheek tone. One of the characters, Erlend (Jeppe Laursen), is a movie buff and as a result there are plenty of references to other films in the horror genre as well as other films in general. For the most part, however, the story and the characters are secondary to a series of gory set pieces and the writing and acting is only as good as it needs to be to move you from one bloody scene to another while keeping your interest. It's not great art by any means, but it's a perfectly serviceable zombie movie that doesn't disappoint in terms of violence.

Final Observations/thoughts:
* I was always under the impression that I only needed to worry about zombies biting me - now I've got to worry about them stabbing me to death too?
* the stranger shows up to warn the group about how dangerous the area is and then... spends the night camping out in a tent in the middle of nowhere? Good idea mystery man!
* 10% of the Norweigan language is apparently English.
* Why so much with the eyes? Why???
* Nastiest. Sex scene. Ever.

Matt's Thoughts: ...I just...there's...I don't even...okay, first off, what kind of girl decides that the outhouse is the best place for romance? I mean, seriously, he was wiping his ass with that hand less than a minute before you put it in your mouth! HAVE SOME SELF-RESPECT, WOMAN!

There's not a lot to say about this movie that isn't just a halting string of monosyllabic non-words. This is the only zombie movie I've seen where no one gets eaten by the monsters, they just get torn apart and then the zombies play with their organs. They didn't even want to eat brains, they just wanted their gold back. I mean...they could have just asked, right?

And these friends are very unhelpful in horrendous situations. I mean, when you accidentally hatchet your girlfriend's neck, you could, y'know...put some pressure on the wound instead of just watching her die. So, I'm kind of glad that the zombies won in the end, because...these people didn't really deserve to survive.

This is the kind of movie that I'll suggest to watch with friends just to see their reactions.


blake said...

I saw this as a throwaway movie at Sundance but ended up loving it. I thought it was hilarious.

You're right though. Grossest sex scene ever.

Alex said...

I totally want to see this movie, if only for the premise. Good to be aware of some of its weirder/dumber aspects.

Rachel said...

I had a good time watching this, but you have to be in the right mind set for it. Sadly though, it's only been a couple months since I've seen it and I've forgotten 90% of what happened.