A tongue in cheek zombie flick that delivers with the humor but skimps on a memorable story.
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Dead Snow is a 2009 Norwegian zombie splatter film directed by Tommy Wirkola, written by Tommy Wirkola and Stig Frode Henriksen and stars Charlotte Frogner, Stig Frode Henriksen, Vegar Hoel, Jeppe Laursen, Evy Kasseth Røsten, Jenny Skavlan, and Lasse Valdal. The film follows the story of a group of college students who are attacked by zombies while stranded in a cabin in the mountains.
If I wanted to sell Dead Snow to anyone I would use two words “Nazi Zombies”. I was sold on watching this film with the same conceit. I heard Nazi Zombies and I was there. I went in expecting dry humor and some ridiculous kills and the film delivered. But the praise for the film all but stops there. The film knows what it is and does not try to be anything better.
I’m sure any person who was watched a few horror films understands the trope of the deserted cabin in the woods (this is Norway so we have a cabin in the mountains). The film checks all the cliches which come associated with that overarching trope. A group of college students, check. The first scene kill to set the tone, check. People splitting up like idiots, check. A creepy old guy who scares the group, check. An ancient artifact which summons the undead, check. You know where I am going with this. The film touches base on all these cliches and more in its attempt to make itself a memorable experience. The characters are indistinguishable as they have no unique characteristics and the dialogue is pretty much written to be a holdover until the next comedic punchline.
The film’s drawing factor is none of the aforementioned problems. It’s the Nazi Zombies. When the zombies are on screen, the film gets infinitely better. We clearly don’t care about the human characters so in that case, any horror movie buff would want to see how creatively they are killed off. The movie does not disappoint in this regard. There are some inexplicably hilarious kills of both the humans and the zombies. Intestine porn for the win could have been the battle cry when the effects team started working on this film. The last half hour of this film is so hilariously over the top that it makes up for the admittedly boring first hour.
The humor is as dry as a bone. If you as a viewer get the tone the film is going for, the overall viewing experience is rewarding. If you do not, the film will lean towards being an average gross horror film you may toss away in the back of your mind. This movie has its strengths and its weaknesses as it tries to be an homage to classic horror films like Evil Dead and Dead Alive while also being its own thing. It is not as creative an homage as the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy but is a serviceable B-movie. And to wind this ramble off I would like to say NAZI ZOMBIES!
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