The 2010 ski lift survival horror film “Frozen” is the ultimate cinematic homonym

FROZEN, from left: Emma Bell, Kevin Zegers, Shawn Ashmore, 2010, © Anchor Bay Films/courtesy Everett Collection

Director Adam Green’s “Frozen” is a chilling sports nightmare that should not be confused with Disney’s tale of a snow queen. Starring Shawn Ashmore, Kevin Zegers, and Emma Bell, this IndieWire After Dark feature explores the film’s peculiarities.

In this cinematic homonym, “Frozen” (2010) by Adam Green shares a title with Disney’s “Frozen” (2013). Both movies involve blonde women thrust into icy landscapes, grappling with fears, and encountering wolves alongside their bumbling love interests. However, Green’s version is decidedly unromantic and lacks a princess.

The original “Frozen” follows Emma Bell as Parker, a skier who, along with her friends Dan (Kevin Zegers) and Joe (Shawn Ashmore), becomes trapped on a ski lift during a snowstorm. The low-budget Sundance debut offers a single-location, escape room horror experience with characters that may strike viewers as disappointingly dense. Despite its pacing and uneven scares, the film delivers a memorable, if not entirely unique, horror experience.

This midnight movie classification is fitting for “Frozen” due to its fringe status, displaced by Disney’s blockbuster. The film takes bold creative swings, leveraging its rickety premise for a memorable, albeit unconventional, cinematic experience.

In the aftermath, the unsuspecting editor finds “Frozen” surprisingly enjoyable. Despite initial expectations of a direct-to-VOD mediocrity, the film delivers a fun 93-minute horror experience. The movie’s blatant stupidity in dialogue, such as dismissing wolf attacks in New England as the wolves being “pussies,” adds to the amusement. “Frozen” succeeds in its straightforward exploration of the terrifying scenario of being trapped in a ski lift, avoiding unnecessary plot complications. The editor appreciates the film’s commitment to riding its premise to its logical conclusion and finds a new nightmare in the scenario of being trapped in a ski lift. Overall, “Frozen” offers an unexpectedly enjoyable horror ride.

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