Shout! Factory // 2008 // 94 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Alice Nelson // March 28th, 2013
Slash 'em Nordic Style!
Jannicke (Ingrid Bolso Berdal, Chernobyl Diaries) is found wandering on a remote road by a small town policeman, carrying a pick axe and covered in blood. "Not my blood," she tells him. Jannicke is taken to a hospital in the small town of Otta after surviving a nightmare where a Mountain Man attacked and murdered her friends. While she is recovering, the killer, thought to have been killed by Jannicke, escapes from the morgue and continues his deadly rampage in the nearly deserted hospital. Once again she must fight this savage killer in order to stay alive.
Without having seen the first Cold Prey, I would say its sequel is a decent standalone film that doesn't require you to see the first -- but you will want to once this one ends. Cold Prey II does a fine job of filling in the back story, using Jannicke's testimony to police as the way of summing up what happen in the first movie: Jannicke (Berdal) went snowboarding with a group of friends, and retreated to an abandoned hotel (always a bad move) after a member of the group breaks his leg. Then the gang is hunted by a Mountain Man killer, and Jannicke is the lone survivor.
After this short detour, you are totally immersed in the world of Cold Prey II, written almost as if it is meant to be its own separate horror movie vehicle. It picks up right where its predecessor left off, dropping you in the middle of our heroine's terrifying ordeal.
This isn't a groundbreaking horror film, but it uses all the scary movie cliché's so effectively -- due to a well written script by Thomas Moldestat, and solid performances from Berdal (who is a believably tough protagonist throughout the film), and Marthe Snorresdotter Rovik as Camilla. Director Mats Stenberg cleverly uses well-timed jump scares, creating many suspenseful moments as Norway's answer to Michael Meyers kills with impunity and chases down Berdal, the Norwegian Jaime Lee Curtis. Like Meyers, the Mountain Man killer is oddly powerful, his face concealed by a mask of sorts, and his current state of homicidal rage is due to some bizarre childhood experience -- one we find out more about in Cold Prey III the prequel. Released in Norway in 2010, it hasn't yet made its way to the US -- I can't wait! Until then, Cold Prey II will provide more than enough horror movie fun to tide you over.
This standard def 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation is crisp and clean, even the darker scenes are easy on the eyes. Be prepared to read as you watch. The language track for Cold Prey II is in Norwegian, but the subtitles are clear and easy to read, and once the film gets going you hardly notice that its subtitled -- isn't the brain an amazing thing? The Dolby stereo audio highlights the tinny synth sounds often associated with the trademarked jump scares. There's also a low droning tone throughout the film that has you on edge because you know something bad will happen very soon -- well done Magnus Beite. Extras are minimal and include the movie's trailer, as well as deleted scenes that weren't actually deleted. Inexplicably, each of the deleted scenes on the DVD were actually in the final cut of the film -- maybe something got lost in translation or maybe in Norway, deleted scenes mean something totally else. Regardless, this is definitely worth watching.
Cold Prey II is reminiscent of old school horror films like the original Halloween, whose only goal was to scare the hell out of you while telling a good story. In this, it succeeds.
I give it 3 out of 4 pick axes. Not Guilty.
Review content copyright © 2013 Alice Nelson; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Shout! Factory
* 2.35:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Norwegian)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 94 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Deleted Scenes