blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Dead Snow (2009, Tommy Wirkola)

A scene from DEAD SNOW, directed by Tommy Wirkola for Euforia Film.

I’m getting sick of running zombies. Did 28 Days Later… start the running zombies or was it the Dawn of the Dead remake? Whichever, it’s gotten to the point where it’s just too boring. Kind of like how bullet-time, by the second Matrix film, was already rote.

Dead Snow is a concept zombie movie, with a concept someone must have already exploited–Nazi zombies. It’s poorly paced–it’s halfway through before they show up in force, which leaves the first half to be the setup. And the setup isn’t scary, which is awkward. Instead, it’s an introduction to the supposed-to-be-likable twentysomething cast, who are the stupidest medical students I’ve seen in a film in quite a while. Worse, they don’t get to be likable until the zombie attack. By then, the film’s in overdrive–the present action of the film is two and a half days, but the big zombie attack sequence takes up about thirty-five percent and it’s quasi real time. So there isn’t much time to get attached to the characters, especially after they’ve been building some resistance.

Traditionally, horror films compensate by casting someone famous in a role (I don’t know if there’s anyone famous in Dead Snow… not to me, anyway) or having gory scenes (the gory scenes are somewhat tame here).

It’s a lot of really funny ideas for scenes but no idea how to execute them. Wirkola’s direction is okay–he can point the camera–but it’s tone deaf.



Directed by Tommy Wirkola; written by Stig Frode Henriksen and Wirkola; director of photography, Matthew Weston; edited by Martin Stoltz; music by Christin Wibe; production designer, Liv Ask; produced by Tomas Evjen and Terje Stroemstad; released by Euforia Film.

Starring Charlotte Frogner (Hanna), Ørjan Gamst (Herzog), Stig Frode Henriksen (Roy), Vegar Hoel (Martin), Jeppe Laursen (Erlend), Evy Kasseth Røsten (Liv), Jenny Skavlan (Chris), Bjørn Sundquist (The Wanderer), Ane Dahl Torp (Sara) and Lasse Valdal (Vegard).


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