Thursday, 25 July 2013

272, The Frozen Ground

In essence I was slightly bemused as to why this movie was quietly slipping under most peoples radar.  It received little to no media advertising, I never saw a trailer for it at other movies and the release (at my cinema at least) of a once nightly (late) showing should have sent the alarm bells ringing.

But then, you see the plot and cast.  Nicolas Cage and John Cusack playing Cop & Bad Guy, portraying the true events of Alaska's most notorious Serial Killer, Robert Hansen.

The story focuses on Cindy Paulson (Vanessa Hudgens) a lucky victim who although suffering the torture and horrific rape at the hands of Hansen (Cusack) manages to escape death by taking a chance dash for it while her captors back is turned. 

Trying to blend back into society and a world of strip clubs, prostitution and drugs, Halcombe (Cage) tries to get her to tell her story and identify Hansen as the aggressor, saving other girls lives.  Scared for her own safety, Paulson decides against getting involved until a chance meeting with Hansen sends her over the edge and with a few twists an turns along the way has to evade him all over again as he hunts her for a 2nd time but with more girls falling to the killers mercy, can Halcombe catch the bad guy in time?

Sounds good doesn't it?  If it only it was.  Firstly, being a true story your heart will go out to the people portrayed in this film - the sheer level of humiliation, torture and 'hunt' styled death in the wilderness the poor victims succumbed too will make you ensure you lock your doors at night and with a fantastic cast I really hoped the movie would honour the important tale it tells, but for me this wasn't the case.

It was shot quite dark, making it hard to make out most of what was going on and the introduction of Curtis '50 cent' Jackson as Paulsons pimp has to win the award for worst haircut ever and sadly, all it wanted to do for the first hour was make me want to fall asleep.

towards the end though as the trail closes in on Hansen it does get a little punchier but then its a simple arrest and capture with a confession that comes all too easily and then its over.

I cant fault the idea behind this movie, the cast that were chosen or indeed the overall story but for me, it just didn't transition over to the big screen.  A fantastic serial drama over 2 or 3 episodes definitely but not a movie. 

I may be wrong, this may be critically acclaimed and my negative response may be because it was late, I was tired and the air-cons wasn't on that made me sleepy but for now, until I see it either on TV or a non descriptive streaming app on my iPad, I'll have to go with my first thoughts.