RJ Bayley Reviews: Frostbitten


Those Scandinavians really knows how to knock out great horror films, don’t they? The extremes of darkness and cold clearly engender chilling horror tales (pun intended). Crisp white snow also makes a great stark background for blood to boot. The likes of Let the Right One In, Troll Hunter and the Dead Snow movies makes this region the current capital of quality horror.

Director Anders Banke’s 2006 offering Frostbiten (Frostbite) was at the very vanguard of the Scandinavian horror invasion, gaining the honour of being Sweden’s first proper vampire film in the process. While Frostbiten never reaches the glorious heights of it’s Scandinavian brethren, there are flashes of genuine brilliance in this black comedy.

The story is directionless, with two almost entirely separate strands running in a dubious tandem. Dubious because a scene of a conversation  will cut to another of carnage at a party. After some mayhem we’ll cut back to the conversation which hasn’t moved forward at all. Have they been silently staring at each other for five minutes since we left them?

A minor gripe however as one of the strands, that of Sebastian (Jonas Karlström), is especially strong. His is a gripping and new depiction of what becoming a vampire is like. Usually we only see pre- and post-transformation vampires, with little time given to the process itself. Here though it’s a central pillar of the film, depicting the changes both hilariously (the ability to speak to dogs, who generally have a shitty attitude) and tragically (everything but blood becomes toxic, unable to slake overpowering thirst).

The second story, of a vampiric SS officer working to purify the vampire strain, clearly a forebear of another northern monster movie, starts off promising but fizzles out. Still, this snowy slaughter still has more bite than it’s reputation suggests.


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