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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: <b>With:</b> Vegard Hoel, Stig Frode Henriksen, Charlotte Frogner, Jenny Skavlan, Jeppe Beck Laursen, Lasse Valdal, Evy Kasseth Rosten, Orjan Gamst, Bjorn Sundquist, Ane Dahl Torp.
  • Music By: