Film Review: The Frozen Ground

The Frozen Ground

The Frozen Ground in a crime thriller that offers some good tension and an interesting case.

In Alaska, 1983, Cindy, a young prostitute narrowly escapes the clutches of a client who attempts to kill her. Seeing similarities between her experience and a number of missing girls, State Trooper Jack Halcombe starts to track the serial killer, but he needs Cindy’s help…

The fact that The Frozen Ground is based on a real case in slightly at odds with the style of the film. The tense finale does seem a bit far-fetched. This is followed by images of the real victims before the end credits. It is unclear what purpose this serves.

As a thriller in its own right, The Frozen Ground has the necessary intrigue, pacing and tension to make it an entertaining watch. The story  revolves around how the authorities catch the serial killer; his identity is never under any doubt.

Scott Walker’s film is sufficiently engaging. The characters are not given much that depth. They really function as vessels for the narrative. Some of their actions appear frustrating; it is unclear how much of the film is based on actual accounts. Likewise, certain elements are heightened; there is no way those involved in the case could have known all the details as depicted in The Frozen Ground.

The cinematography captures the vastness of the Alaskan landscape, even if these shots are brief. In the town scenes, the locales are portrayed with the authentic seediness required. The use of score is overbearing at certain points, although it does add tension in other moments.

John Cusack offers a very convincing performance as Robert Hansen. Nicolas Cage is fine in a role that does not require too much range. Vanessa Hudgens is also decent.

The Frozen Ground is recommended for fans of crime thrillers as it does hold the attention. Nevertheless, its ‘based on true events’ credentials perhaps did not need to be played up in the way it has been.

Trailer Round-Up

Plenty of new trailers this week, including The Call, The Frozen Ground,and Only God Forgives

The Call

Halle Berry plays an emergency call operator in The Call. Also starring Abigail Breslin, film looks like a fast-paced thriller, from the trailer at least. It at least serves as a warning to always keep your phone adequately charged. The Call is out in UK cinemas on 20th September 2013.

The Frozen Ground

Watching this trailer, it’s hard to believe that John Cusack is the same guy who was in Say Anything. The Frozen Ground is based on the true story of the hunt for a serial killer in Alaska. Also starring Nicolas Cage and Vanessa Hudgens, The Frozen Ground hits the big screen on 19th July 2013.

Only God Forgives

Here is the latest trailer for Only God Forgives. Kristin Scott Thomas is barely recognisable. And Nicolas Winding Refn really does seem to like neon. Starring Ryan Gosing, Only God Forgives is out in UK cinemas on 2nd August 2013.

Pacific Rim

Monsters! Robots! Action writ large! Pacific Rim (I can’t with this name) is Guillermo del Toro’s future-set action blockbuster. If gigantic monsters started popping out of the ocean, I think I would just hide under the bed. But perhaps this would not make for a very exciting film. Pacific Rim hits the big screen on 12th July 2013.

Runner Runner

Justin Timberlake plays a college student who pays for his tuition through online gambling in Runner Runner. In fairness, he could be a mature student. The film also stars Gemma Arterton and Ben Affleck,  in his second role since his Argo success. Runner Runner is out on 27th September 2013.


Hawking is a new documentary on the life of the most famous living scientist in the world, Stephen Hawking. His fame seems to concentrate on his work as a physicist and his disability, so perhaps this film is an opportune chance to discover more about the renowned scientist. Hawking is released on 20th September 2013.