Monday, October 29, 2012

Movie Review: Dead Snow (2009)

Since Halloween is this week, I thought I'd review a few horror movies. To start things off, considering my WW2 kick over the last few months, I finally decided to watch a movie that's been sitting in my Netflix Instant Queue for a long while now, the Norwegian zombie horror-comedy Dead Snow.

The plot, like most zombie/slasher horror movies, is very straightforward. A bunch of young people go out to a remote cabin in the wilderness to party and enjoy themselves over a vacation weekend. The only problem is - surprise! - the area they are camping in is cursed by Nazi zombies. Apparently an SS Einsatzgruppe, or death squad, had been terrorizing this section of Occupied Norway for years during WW2. As the war drew to a close, and the Germans realized they would be eventually driven out, they looted from the locals all their gold and valuables, then fled into the snowy mountain wilderness with armed villagers at their heels. It was presumed that the Nazis all froze to death, but a pall of "evil" still hangs about the place.

Of course, if that's the case, one wonders how anyone was able to build a rather cozy-looking cabin up in those cursed woods, and apparently use it often enough for the cabin to be in a fairly good state of repair, and why, if the area had been cursed for decades, anyone who owned said cabin in the woods would think it a good idea to keep going back there. BUT, hey, if this made any sense, we wouldn't have a pack of marauding SS zombies to contend with, would we?

Overall, Dead Snow is a lot of gory, ghastly fun. I'm not a huge zombie movie fan - I think it is a schtick that's been done to death (no pun intended) and it's really just a gimmick for sucking in people who'll watch anything with zombies, no matter how good or bad it might be. But, this movie has just the right blend of gratuitous violence and bleak, gross-out humor, blended with some actual creepy moments (there's a rather disturbing dream sequence that I think should have been explored further).

There have been more than a few horror movies based around Nazis - for good reason, I think - and I feel this one is rather well done. The monologue by the old hiker to the young folks that sets the tone for the rest of the movie is especially disturbing. The history of Norway during WW2 isn't all that well covered, but I think the history bears examining.

To conclude, if you want to watch a zombie movie this Halloween and want something other than your typical Romero rip-off, give Dead Snow a try.

1 comment:

Indyguy said...

I've seen this one thanks to Netflix streaming movies. It was fun at times and contained a few chilling moments. I was annoyed at how the movie swung back and forth in tone between atmospheric horror and Evil Dead-style comedy/violence/horror. Silly, but generally effective at providing some shocks and grins that horror fans may appreciate. And since it seems topical, let me offer a warning to those interested in the 'something-Nazis' sort of mash up movies. Netflix offers something called "Nazis from the Center of the Earth". Since it was available and I was stupid I watched approximately 10 minutes of that show. Don't. Simply, don't!