The Icelandic horror film Frost is gaining distribution, but could also be turned into a franchise, if the producer gets his way.
Do not confuse Frost with Disney’s Frozen or Frost (both 2013) or the Swedish vampires in Frostbitten (2006). Reynir Lyngdal’s 2012 found footage horror film is a different beast, and as the UK DVD is now out for the first time, we thought it was about time to preview this (to many) little known movie.
The arctic chiller premiered in Reykjavik in September 2012 to glowing reviews from Iceland’s main media, and was prevented from reaching the number one box-office spot only by the fourth Bourne chapter. It went on to garner nominations for the Icelandic “Oscar”, the Edda Awards; Best Picture, Best Actor (Björn Thors), Best Supporting Actress (Anna Gunndís Guðmundsdóttir) and Best Director (Reynir Lyngdal). The film also competed for the Golden Skull Awards at the 2012 Screamfest in Los Angeles.
The story starts when filmmaker Gunnar (Thors) arrives at a remote glacier camp on the outskirts of the Arctic Circle to meet up with physiologist Agla (Guðmundsdóttir) to make a documentary about the research being conducted there. The next day they discover the camp mysteriously abandoned and their co-workers gone without a trace. As darkness descends and the camp is shaken with ear-splitting shrieks and violent flashing lights, the couple bravely venture out into the vast nothingness, frantically following a trail of blood in the snow in the hope that it’ll lead them to their missing colleagues, unaware of what they’ll find at the other end…
Produced by Ingvar Thordarson and Julius Kemp from a script by Jon Atli Jonasson, Frost was Iceland’s second horror movie ever, after Kemp’s slasher Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre, also known as Harpoon, in 2009. -The script writer came to me, and immediately after reading it I decided to do it. It fit the mythology of Iceland, and you never know what is frozen in the glaciers, Thordarson said to Dreadcentral. The shoot wasn’t easy though, as Iceland’s rough nature is not in any film producer’s schedules: -It was a very, very challenging shoot. We filmed the entire movie on one of the most dangerous glaciers in the world, and the weather was crazy, but that was what we wanted. But sometimes it was too much. One day the famous Greenland Storm hit us, and it took us twelve hours to get to our camp, when it would usually take three to four. We had a fantastic crew and actors though!
Many things can be frozen in the ice on Iceland. Exactly what is thawing out Thordarson will not tell people who has not seen the movie. And he also sees the possibilities for sequels or spin-offs: -For 1,000 years something has been frozen in the glacier, and it will affect the whole world. We always saw this as a franchise so this is only the start. Beware!
The film has a rating of 3.5 on IMDb with some ezine and blog reviews saying things like:
- “It’s not a masterpiece or something totally new and fresh, but it’s a serious, creepy and sometimes slow-moving horror/thriller with great acting and a simple and interesting concept.” More at Fred Anderson, ex-Ninja
- “For its flaws, Frost isn’t even a bad film. Indeed, it’ll do just fine should you not mind a little cliché and lack of ambition. Those with a found footage prejudice, however, will be less than impressed. Every so often, a film will come along which blows the rest of its subgenre out of the water. Frost is not that film.” More at Horrortalk.com
- “A failure of a film proving that found footage horrors in any language are equally as awful, Frost simply leaves you cold and feeling numb.” More at LoveHorror
- “If you’re a fan of endless shots of people walking across snow and ice, getting a bit lost, then walking across more snow and ice, then this is your Citizen Kane. Otherwise….” More at Thatwasabitmental
- “Frost is without doubt a disappointment. I’ve long championed ‘found footage’ films amid the continued berating of them in horror circles, but sadly the pedestrian and uninspired approach of Frost does little to help my cause. It’s difficult to pin a single reason for its disappointment…” More at UKhorrorscene
- “It’s a damn shame that the stories we heard of the adventure of making the film are more exciting than the finished product and it’s a shame that this experiment ultimately failed in my opinion” More at TwitchFilm
- “The idea is promising, the technical department does a decent job and even the lead actors aren’t bad. This could have been a really cool movie but instead it’s a dull, unimaginative dud that’s nothing more than an 80 minute build up to a whole lot of nothing.” More at Filmophilia
- “This isn’t for everyone and fans of conventional horror may leave disappointed […] this has, at its core, more in common with the ghost story genre. It’s all about atmosphere and existential terror. To make this work, it depends on strong acting, and both leads deliver […] the film recalls the best bits of The Blair Witch Project and deep sea fishing documentary Leviathan in bringing its characters face to face with the power of the natural world […] Frost is a perfect example of how talent and a willingness to build a script around available resources can overcome budgetary restrictions and enable small scale filmmakers to punch above their weight. Simple as it is, it’s a poetic, haunting little film that lingers in the imagination, and it’s an impressive calling card for all involved.” More at Eyeforfilm