Snow Beast (2011)

Snow Beast (2011)

Survival is everything

A divorced researcher takes his rebellious teenage daughter along with him on his next trip to study the endangered lynx in a remote part of Canada. They can’t find any traces of lynx in the area and it appears that something else has replaced them at the top of the food chain. However the team is unprepared for the realisation that what they are dealing with is a very deadly and very hungry Yeti.


I’m not entirely sure whether this is supposed to be a remake of the 1977 TV movie of the same name or whether it’s a totally unrelated movie about a snow monster which menaces a mountain but the fact of the matter is that Snow Beast is still dreadful monster movie making at it’s finest.

Following the standard Sy-Fy formula to the latter (I’ve finally succumbed to calling it that, instead of Sci-Fi), Snow Beast trots out all of the usual clichés and predictable plot developments to the letter. As well as the standard ‘monster on the loose’ storyline that the film follows, the father-daughter combo of Jim and Emmy provide the necessary human drama of a divorced man struggling to keep a relationship with his rebellious teenage tearaway. I’m sure that coming face-to-face with a man-eating Yeti will put paid to any sort of conflict the two characters have with each other by the end and everything will be hunky dory come the credits. It’s the additions of teenage characters to this type of film which bugs me to pieces: as if featuring one token teenager in a film is going to make it appeal to a younger market? Snow Beast is hardly being aimed at the Twilight crowd so just cut the kids out, give the adults a bit more substance and the drama will come naturally in the face of a life-threatening situation. John Schneider sees to be getting a regular pay cheque from Sy-Fy to star in these terrible low budget creature features and his constant monotone delivery throughout gives the impression that he’s bored. No wonder his character has problems with his daughter if he’s always this enthusiastic about life.

Aside from the handful of main characters, everyone else in the film is of inconsequential value. A couple of people out for a trek in the snow? Snowboarders? Random guys stopping to pee by the side of the road? Say “bye bye” to them before you even catch their names. Even the local sheriff and his deputy, built up at the beginning of the film into what one would assume to be pivotal parts of the story, are discarded almost nonchalantly. This conveyor belt of characters fed to the Yeti is pointless, giving us no real reason to fear the monster as we’ve never taken them to heart and mourn their demise.

But now we come to the star of the show, the ‘snow beast’ itself. Anyone familiar with an episode of the original series of Star Trek which featured a ridiculous shaggy, ape-like monster called the Mugato will know exactly the sort of creature that we’re dealing with here. It’s a guy-in-a-suit monster of the old fashioned kind which might work in small doses when it’s kept off-camera. But this Yeti loves the camera, running around comically (and struggling badly) through the snow and pretending to look intimidating. The suit doesn’t look too bad in all honesty, especially during the quick edits in attack scenes when you only catch a glimpse. It’s when the camera lingers on it during prolonged sequences that the cheese factor oozes out – the finale inside the ice cave clearly indicative of an injured grad student fighting a ticked-off fancy dress enthusiast. About 90% of the film is shot in the daylight too, illuminating the creature in all of its bottom-dollar glory.

As touched on earlier, the Yeti is fed a lot of throwaway characters but when you see how it actually manages to accomplish this task, you’ll wonder how it ever manages to eat. When it’s not pimp-slapping victims, it’s charging across the screen and sacking them American football-style. In some instances, it’s happy enough to drag the unlucky victim back to its ice lair to freeze for later. Other time it just leaves the bodies out in the snow. Depending on which character is being attacked, the Yeti conveniently changes its tactic for killing and eating on the spot or dragging back semi-conscious to finish off later. It’s lazy writing at its best – either don’t put the main characters into this type of situation or kill them off and shock the audience. Don’t have the creature change its feeding habits because someone in the cast is getting paid more than the extras. Re-write the script and don’t insult the monster…and the audience at the same time.


Snow Beast is production line poo from Sy-Fy who surely can’t go on churning out the same ridiculous films for years upon end without even the slightest deviation in formula? Anyone? There’s only so many times my intelligence can be insulted. Oh wait, there’s 2-Headed Shark Attack….I’ll be right back.





Post a comment