You had me at In the Hall of the Mountain King (Peer Gynt) by Edvard Grieg as the score in the opening scene while a young woman runs for her life from a mob of…what? I could not tell. Dead Snow (Død snø, 2009), directed by Tommy Wirkola, only gets better from there.
4 1/2 stars out of 5
The plot is nothing new: a group of college students trek to a secluded cabin in the snow-covered mountains of Norway only to discover the area’s sordid history which includes torture, murder, and zombies. But not just any zombie. Nope. These are Nazi zombies!
There are reviews with remarks about the “boring first half” of the film but I disagree. I wasn’t bored for one minute of the entire 92-minute movie. I think the pacing works well and I am given enough exposition to leave me feeling like I am in-the-know before the brains hit the floor. However, once the kills begin, it’s a breakneck pace until the end.
The dialogue is cheesy but there are references to some of my favorite American horror films – like The Evil Dead (1981) – and a few scenes are obvious homages to those movies so that let me know the writers (Tommy Wirkola and Stig Frode Henriksen) weren’t going for anything deep when they penned the script. Plus, the editing definitely reminds me of Shaun of the Dead (2004) and the buckets of gore are comparable to Dead Alive (aka Braindead, 1992), which, again, lets me know what sort of film it aims to be.
The zombie-in-charge scares me. He could think and command his minions. Shivers. The kills are wicked and imaginative. And the grossest part of the whole movie has nothing to do with zombies. It involves sex in an outhouse. That’s all I’ll say because the surprise is half the fun, er, repulsion.
Oh, for all you zombie / horror purists, these Nazi zombies do run, and they run fast!
Lastly, if you don’t like to read subtitles, I believe the DVD does offer English dubbing. Personally, I avoid dubbing at all costs, but to each his own. If you do watch this movie with the subtitles, they are well done: short lines and the font is easy to read.
Are there any other Nazi zombie flicks you suggest I watch?
DISCLAIMER: This was my first experience with the Nazi zombie subgenre of horror films.
(Watched Instantly on 3/5/2010)