Here are a handful of slashers that will give you chills…partially because there’s so much snow blowing around!
COLD PREY (2006)
The first Cold Prey focuses all its energy on being an atmospheric, slow burner. A bunch of kids hikes into the mountains to ski, one of them gets a gruesome leg injury, and they are forced to hole up in what appears to be an old abandoned ski resort.
Aside from following the formula of the best of them, Cold Prey also succeeds on several other levels. This cluster of kids manages to break all the clichés. Just when you think a character is fitting the mold, he or she proves otherwise.
There’s a build-up to the first kill, but when it finally happens, it is brutal and delivers the goods. After that, the fun begins. The film focuses on suspense and realism—like when the characters score a gun and one freely admits that people who’ve never used a gun might not do so well when panicking in a confrontation with a psycho.
There are some hints as to the motivation of the killer, but it doesn’t feel like we’re supposed to care all that much to have it clearly explained. Then, following an intense chase and fight scene with the final girl, the movie closes with one of those totally cheesy, unrealistic shots of the killer swinging the weapon at the screen. It’s a really poor exclamation point…but maybe because Cold Prey 2 was the plan?
The rock track “All My Friends Are Dead” that closes the movie is awesome, BTW. It’s by a punk band named Turbonegro and it’s on their CD Party Animal.
COLD PREY 2 (2008)
I’m just going to say it right up front. Cold Prey 2 is Halloween 2. It picks up right where the first left off. The final girl is taken to the hospital. The killer ends up at the hospital. The hospital is inhabited by just enough staff to up the body count from the first movie. The power goes out.
Don’t get me wrong. Cold Prey 2 is still a good slasher. But it’s also plagued by endless false jump scares, dream scares, and the types of caricatures the first film avoided. We do, however get a much more complex clarification of the backstory of the killer, plenty of suspense, chase scenes, and kills. There is some exaggerated action at the end, but it’s definitely entertaining.
And Cold Prey 3, which is actually a prequel made in 2010, is not yet available on DVD in the U.S., so instead, I’m going to add one more snow slasher to the this wintry mixture.
BLOOD RUNS COLD (2011)
If you go into Blood Runs Cold looking for anything more than suspense, atmosphere, and some good scares and gore, you’ll be really disappointed. All you need to know is that a handful of people at a creepy house in the woods is picked off one by one by a mysterious killer in a mask.
Blood Runs Cold actually reminds me of a Ti West film in that there is major build-up before all hell breaks loose, and the subtle chills are excellent. There are incredibly fresh and effective moments of creepiness. Some of them are simply spectacular. And once our killer comes out to play, the grisly gore is awesome.
Scary good indeed. Only problem is, nothing really makes sense. There’s an opening kill we never hear about again. Then, looking to get away from it all, this chick comes to stay in an old house in the middle of nowhere. She runs into an ex-boyfriend at a bar and brings him home—along with his friends. Guess she lived in the town before.
One guy sees someone walking around in a window upstairs but says nothing to anyone. The killer appears to be able to take axes to the back and knives through the head, yet we never learn why he’s so resilient. He also eats some of his victims. Why? What is the big underground ice tunnel filled with weapons all about? And why does the killer pass up so many chances to just axe the be-otch, instead letting her slip away from him before giving chase again?
And why is our leading lady so calm once she is being chased by a killer? She brazenly walks from room to room, leaving doors unlocked, opening doors she knows the killer was just behind, and barely reacting when she loses body parts. How does she shoot a machine gun with little effort and not even the complete use of her hands? What’s with the huge snot that drools down from her nose when she’s hiding in the closet?
If unanswered questions bother you, this film will bother the hell out of you, and you will hate the way it just…ends. But if you go in just for the slasher thrills, you’ll be quite satisfied.