Movie Review – The Frozen Ground (2013)

Director: Scott Walker

Stars: Nicolas Cage, Vanessa Hudgens, John Cusack

An Alaska State Trooper tries to protect a young prostitute as she holds the key to catching a serial killer.

The Frozen Ground is based on actual events, and this lends the film some extra gravitas. Cage and Cusack are the veterans here, and the film builds to when they finally meet, and that scene is explosive. The killer is disturbing, although this comes through more from what is told rather than what is shown, but I can understand why they didn’t want to go into too much detail as it may have been disrespectful to the victims. The main star of this film is Hudgens, who captures the screen and immerses herself in the role. She’s vulnerable, hard-headed, sympathetic, and infuriating. The film needed her to be the anchor upon which the plot spun, and she is superb here.

The investigation is slow-paced in some parts, and only in a few places does the film reach the creepiness levels of films like Zodiac. I wouldn’t say it’s the best in the genre but it’s certainly watchable.

The most haunting moment comes at the end though, as pictures of all the victims (at least the ones that are known) are shown on the screen. The music that accompanies them is strangely offbeat, but there’s something grisly and unsettling about seeing the pictures, and then reading how long it took for their bodies to be discovered. The killer in this movie is, well, words don’t do him justice, and the gloomy setting of Alaska sets the right kind of mood.

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