Dead Snow (2009) Movie Review

Dead Snow (2009)

2009 | Horror, Comedy
91 minutes /

User Score: 80/100

[ Movie Page: Dead Snow (Dod Sno) (2009) ]
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Dead Snow Review


A ski vacation turns horrific for a group of medical students, as they find themselves confronted by an unimaginable menace: N*zi zombies.

Classic horror films like Night of the Living Dead, Texas Chainsaw Massacre or the original Evil Dead work despite their low production value because of their originality and ability to use what little they had very effectively. Dead Snow (2009), a Norwegian film directed by Tommy Wirkola, has all the campiness of many of its predecessors. But without contributing anything new to the zombie genre, the result is a film that is predictable at best, and nearly unwatchable at worst.

The Dead Snow plot is standard. A group of college students heads to an isolated cabin in the mountains for Easter break, where they can jet ski, drink beers and have fun all day long. The cabin belongs to one of the guy’s girlfriend, who is mysteriously missing upon their arrival. They don’t worry about it too much, concluding that she is probably out hitting the slopes and will return shortly. They proceed to have a grand old time without her. The real action only starts about halfway through the film, and much of the first half-hour of the film plays out like the director just wanted to reenact some home video footage of he and his friends having fun playing snow sports.

In the middle of their first night at the cabin, a scary old man arrives to tell them about the mountain’s horrible past (involving Nazis) and to warn them about the evil that lurks in those hills. Of course, the group of friends doesn’t believe him. And would they? He’s a creepy old guy who trekked all the way over there just to tell them a ghost story and ruin their fun. (It turns out this exposition is actually his only purpose in the film). Next, we are treated to yet another montage of college students playing in the snow. Thus the story meanders on.

After a sex scene in an outhouse that does nothing literally for the plot, one of the girls goes missing. That is when the action finally begins, and all hell breaks loose on the remaining friends who find themselves surrounded by blood-thirsty, frozen N*zi zombies.

Dead Snow is impressive only insofar as it manages to cram every horror movie cliche imaginable into one film. There’s an isolated cabin. A group of college friends on vacation. A village with a sinister past. People who can’t run without falling. The brilliant idea to “split up.” The sudden shoulder grab. Slow-motion massacre montages set to hard rock music. Thinking the bad guys are dead only to find out they aren’t. Not to mention that every character is an idiot. Their decisions are either foolish or totally baffling. At one point, a woman is hiding in a tree from a pair of zombies. They don’t notice her at first. Then a crow lands on a branch next to her and starts cawing, so she tries to silence it by grabbing and repeatedly whacking it against the tree trunk. Then the zombies notice her.

In many ways, it’s obvious that the writers are intentionally poking fun at the genre. One of the guys is a horror movie buff who makes comments like "How many movies start with a group of friends going to a cabin in the woods?” — which is clearly supposed to be meta-commentary. Perhaps the intent was for “Dead Snow” to be a parody of horror films, but more often than not, it plays too straight for that. It’s a bizarre combination of scenes that are either trying too hard to be serious or trying too hard to be silly.

So yes, this movie has it all. It has blood. It has gruesome deaths. There are zombies. There are machine guns, chainsaws, explosions, and self-amputation. It may have used every trick in the book, but “Dead Snow” proves that you can’t beat a dead horse. It will occasionally make you jump, maybe even gross you out, but unfortunately, that’s about it.

About Dead Snow (2009)

Title: Dead Snow
AKA: Død snø
Year: 2009
Runtime: 91 minutes
Type: Movie
Genre: Horror, Comedy
Score: 1 / 5 stars
Avg. Rating: 4/5 stars from 15 users.
Total Avg. Votes: 15
Starring: Bjørn Sundquist, Vegar Hoel, Stig Frode Henriksen, Tommy Wirkola, Jeppe Beck Laursen, Charlotte Frogner, Ørjan Gamst, Caroline Thielemann, Lasse Valdal, Evy Kasseth Røsten, Jenny Skavlan, Ane Dahl Torp, Steinar Kaarstein
Writers: Tommy Wirkola, Stig Frode Henriksen
Director: Tommy Wirkola

Dead Snow Cover Poster Art