Deep Freeze (2003)

Deep Freeze (2003)

Some things are better left frozen

A group of grad students visit an Antarctic drilling station to do some research. Unknown to them, a prehistoric monster has been retrieved from the deep ice and is on its way to be transported back to America but thaws out and escapes into the station, killing off anyone it comes into contact with.

 

Borrowing heavily from The Thing and Alien, Deep Freeze pulls out the old ‘monster on the loose in a remote setting’ chestnut with predictably dire consequences. Poor production values, a rehashed script of well-worn clichés and some minor league acting makes for a dismal effort all-round. I shouldn’t really complain because at least there are still people out there churning out low budget horror flicks and for every twenty stinkers like Deep Freeze, we’re sure to get a hidden gem. But the likes of this aren’t going to get tongues wagging or pulses racing in the slightest.

Nothing happens for almost an hour of the film and then when the monster finally starts doing it’s thing, the end results are highly disappointing. The monster, usually the sole original component of these films, looks terrible. It’s supposed to be some sort of prehistoric beetle (a Trilobyte) and when it scurries across the floor, it looks like a wind-up toy. So disappointing are the effects that during one attack scene, it’s clear that the actor is simply grabbing hold of a really cheap plastic prop and writhing around on the floor with it. It’s as scary as a Teletubby crawling around on all fours (come to think of it though, they are kind of freaky in their own way). How much fear can you generate when your cast is up against something so laughable? I would have at least expected the film to be gory as it’s always a good staple of films where everything else is so awful that they simply ramp up the gore to compensate. Not here though! There’s hardly a drop of the red stuff on show and even the scene in which the beetle burrows into the woman isn’t messy.

There should be no reason why the film is full of annoying teenagers other than it was an easy way to attract a younger crowd. The film might have worked a bit better with just beefing up the crew of the drilling station a bit more. After all, Alien and The Thing didn’t feature partying teenagers looking for sex, drugs and alcohol – they featured grown, mature adults. Hell, The Thing was female-free. If you’re filling your low budget B-movie with teenagers, the least I’d expect is some T&A but the best we get here is one of the females stripping down to a bra early on. There is a shower scene but it involves the hairiest, oldest guy in the cast! Hang on a sec, no gore and no nudity?

There’s literally no other reason to watch this. There’s no atmosphere, no tension and no scares. It’s a groan-fest of waiting and watching these teenagers do their thing in the drilling station and it’s almost like we’re waiting for the beetle to thaw out in real-time. The finale seems rushed as the survivors face their showdown with the now-giant monster. Maybe it’s because the thing looks so ridiculous that they wanted to get it off screen as quickly as possible but its little pay-off for the effort we’ve had to make to endure the rest of the film. The entire base explodes yet somehow two survivors are still inside a relatively unscathed part of the building which, by all laws of physics, should no longer exist. Without finding out whether they make it home, whether they’re injured or whether they want a cup of tea, the film just ends abruptly. Not that you’d really care after sitting through Deep Freeze. Cast wise, it’s a pretty horrendous showing all round with the only notable appearance being that of Götz Otto, who played a villain in the Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies.

 

Put this back in the freezer, turn down the temperature and ice it back up again. Deep Freeze is derivative and tedious ‘entertainment’ which has rightfully been forgotten about and buried in the genre it’s trying to rip off.

 

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