4.25.2010

QUICKIE: Død Snø (Tommy Wirkola, 2009)

Director Tommy Wirkola and his cohorts clearly share a love for several of the seminal slash n' splatter series referenced through Død Snø's expendable film buff character. Inspirations drawn from Friday the 13th and The Evil Dead feature strongly in this thrilling exploitation escapade to the point where the iconic "groovy" scene from the latter is given a brief recreation. Even Kill Bill shows up, which will come as little surprise to those familiar (unlike myself as of yet) with Wirkola's 2007 spoof, Kill Buljo.

Forgiving two overly black-and-blue scenes in the opening third, the Norwegian mountains are taken full advantage of and provide an appealing and unique atmosphere for a zombie throw-down. The blood - even the computer-drawn kind, surprising enough - looks great against peaks and valleys of glistening, white snow.

So is Død Snø the perfect culmination of its aforementioned predecessors' achievements? Nah. Far from it, actually. For every tablespoon of dynamic, exaggerated awesome is a teaspoon of lazy short-cuts and unfortunate cliches. At times I'll pull less for the characters' safety from their pursuers and more for the filmmakers to get a commanding grip on their vision. This isn't to mention the exposition-heavy front end that misses cues from more successful and concise establishing scenes in Jason Voorhees' and Ashley Williams' respective films. Largely, however, Død Snø does manage to rise above these shortcomings with bloody ardor and deliver big on its promise of undead Nazis ascending from their frozen chambers to march on youthful vacationers.

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