Here is the film I have waited over a year to watch. This is Nazis Gone Wild! week. Dead Snow is currently available on instant Netflix.
WATCH: Dead Snow (2009) – NR – Not rated but definitely not for the kids as the poster might attest to. There is sex, brief nudity, language, and lots and lots of gore (almost entirely in the second half of the film).
“A group of Norwegian friends get the scariest history lesson of their lives during a weekend getaway to the snowy town of Øksfjord, where the party is interrupted by throngs of Nazi zombies who once occupied the area. Armed with a machine-gun-equipped snowmobile, the gang fights for survival in director Tommy Wirkola’s quirky horror, shot on location in the mountains of Norway. The film had its U.S. premiere at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.”
“Ein. Zwei. Die.” – Poster tag line.
“We should have gone to the beach like I told you.”
Dead Snow begins wonderfully with a stately winter sky shot slowly panning down to the forest as a piece of classical music plays in the background. As the music speeds up, we are watching a young woman in the forest on the run from…something. The pace of the chase matches the frantic end of the piece.
Tommy Wirkola wrote and directed here and for a young director, he has a sure hand. Many of the scenes are staged beautifully (for both surprise and comic effect) and he wisely refrains from showing much until the midway point of the movie.
I have to say that the winter landscapes of Norway are gorgeous, particularly in high definition on my Roku box. I would not want to live there but it seems quite a vacation spot for winter sports.
Wirkola superbly uses the blown out contrast between the bright white snow and the dark night and later between the snow and the blood. This film will definitely give the colors of your high definition TV a good workout.
There are quite a number of American pop culture references in the film. Everything from Indiana Jones and The Simpsons to horror staples April Fool’s Day, Friday the 13th and The Evil Dead series is mentioned or quoted.
The film owes a huge debt to Sam Raimi and the Evil Dead series. The plot, cabin setting, and tone are very much like Evil Dead 1&2. A nod and a wink is given to this by some of the characters in the film.
Instead of finding a tape recording, our protagonists encounter a mysterious stranger who fills in the backstory. His first appearance is a wonderful reveal by Wirkola. His final scene is quite good as well.
The actors are all young and engaging. The performances are nice and not wooden as I am sure they will be in the inevitable American remake.
I do not want to discuss too many of the scenes, particularly those in the second half, as part of what I liked about the movie were the fresh takes Wirkola had on tired scenarios. I will say there are many hilarious gags including a small one with a certain Communist symbol.
As long as you do not mind subtitles and gross gory horror movies, I highly recommend this Norwegian import. It is a tremendous amount of fun.
I was so glad this was not disappointing as I had heard about this film as it played in European theaters. It then had a DVD release in the UK last fall and I was wondering if it would ever come over here. Wonderfully Netflix had this on instant play day and date with the US DVD and Blu-Ray release.
People Watch: Director Tommy Wirkola apparently has a cameo as one of the zombies. He also made a Kill Bill parody, Kill Buljo prior to Dead Snow. Currently he is working on an intriguingly named project, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters.