Saturday, November 13, 2010

Fritt Vilt (Cold Prey)- 2006

Did you know that Norway has the world's lowest homicide rate? This could help explain the box office success of the Norweigan slasher film "Fritt Vilt" (Cold Prey)- maybe they find slashing strange and exotic. Conversely, the exotic snowy location might pique one's interest in this otherwise pretty generic slasher flick.

Admittedly, calling a slasher movie "generic" is like pointing out that there are a lot of horses in a western- the slash'n'hack genre is well known for its interchangeable plots and storylines. At one point in the slasher movie documentary Going to Pieces, a slasher producer talks about watching Halloween with a stop watch in order to know exactly where to place the shocks in his own film! Scream, of course, commented openly on the formula, and post-Scream slashers tend to subvert it in fairly trivial ways- Fritt Vilt has the virginal girl die first instead of surviving. But the genre has yet to attempt the sort of post-modern deconstructions that the western, superhero, and noir genres have pulled off.

So, this one is about a group of young people on vacation in the wilderness, like every slasher flick; but this is Norway, so they're snowboarding and they all have names like Jorg and Blorgen. There are some romantic subplots- these movies were always a bit like teen soap operas that end in bloodshed- and an accident and they wind up stranded in an abandoned ski lodge. Something mysterious happened there in the 70s, although if you try, you can guess it- and now there's a killer on the loose, picking them off Blorgen by Jorgen.

Fritt Vilt is certainly well-made, and the murders and mood are very effective. You can see why Norweigan teens ate it up- there have already been two sequels released there, while it's only recently arrived in North America on DVD- but it's not like Cold Prey takes the slasher genre anywhere new... well, aside from Norway.

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