'Dead Snow'

Norwegian cinema mines the genre's No. 2 unstoppable killing machine via "Dead Snow."

After hitting paydirt with the masked slasher thrills of “Cold Prey” and its sequel, Norwegian cinema mines the genre’s No. 2 unstoppable killing machine via “Dead Snow.” Zombie flick starts out in competent but routine fashion before the cheerfully blood-soaked later reels turn raucously tongue-in-cheek. IFC pickup is unlikely to reap more than modest theatrical rewards here, but should do well as a DVD/broadcast item in numerous territories.

After the requisite prologue showing one victim’s desperate attempt to escape something in the woods, we’re introduced to seven med students traveling to a friend’s remote cabin. Little do they know she’s already toast, having made the unfortunate decision to hike in alone. A weird older man (Bjorn Sundquist) warns them vaguely of an “evil presence” related to long-ago brutal Nazi occupiers. Turns out the latter are still lurking about, albeit undead and ready for dinner. Full-bore panic sets in around the 40-minute mark; a bit later, the pic reveals itself as a horror-action-comedy a la “Evil Dead,” with amusing twists of fate and over-the-top gore. Pro package makes full use of the frozen but still picturesque countryside.

Dead Snow

Norway

Production

An IFC Films (in U.S.) release of a Yellow Bastard Prods., News on Request, Euforia Film presentation of a Miho Film production. Produced by Terje Stromstad, Tomas Evjen. Executive producers, Kjetil Omberg, Magne Ek, Espen Horn, Harald Zwart. Directed by Tommy Wirkola. Screenplay, Wirkola, Stig Frode Henriksen.

Crew

Camera (color), Matthew Weston; editor, Martin Stoltz; music, Christian Wibe; production designer, Liv Ask. Reviewed at Sundance Film Festival (Park City at Midnight), Jan. 23, 2009. Original title: Dod sno. Running time: 88 MIN.

With

Vegard Hoel, Stig Frode Henriksen, Charlotte Frogner, Jenny Skavlan, Jeppe Beck Laursen, Lasse Valdal, Evy Kasseth Rosten, Orjan Gamst, Bjorn Sundquist, Ane Dahl Torp.

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