Cold Prey II (Fritt vilt II) (Movie Review)
I'm always happy to see foreign movies at the local video rental place because it usually means a theatrical quality movie and it often means the best of what that particular country in question has to offer the horror world. "Cold Prey II" is a well-made Norwegian slasher movie, and a more than serviceable sequel to the original film, where a group of young vacationers stumble upon a serial killer while snowboarding, and fight the killer down to the last girl.
"Cold Prey II" picks up exactly where the first film left off. A young girl named Jannicke had just thrown a psychopathic killer into a crevice in the Norwegian ice, where the serial killer had been storing the bodies of his victims. She's found by a police officer and taken to a local hospital along with the killer. The killer is then defibrillated back to life and begins his assault on the hospital a la Michael Myers in "Halloween 2."
This movie was made well enough that I honestly don't have any major complaints. It looks great visually, the acting is solid all the way around, the characters are believable, there isn't any distracting comedic relief, and the plot is about what you would expect for a slasher. If I had any major nitpicks it would be that the film seems to lose steam in the final act. We spend the entire movie getting to know several characters in the hospital, and for some reason the director chose to have them all removed from the claustrophobic environment of the hospital, while the killer faces off with a group of disposable police officers.
If these movies sound similar to any of the hundreds of other slashers you've already seen, its probably because that's exactly what the "Cold Prey" franchise is. They are nothing more than a throw back to the no-frills slashers of the 80's, which in of itself, I suppose is something that you could argue is somewhat unique. The slasher genre these days is mostly "meta" comedies or ridiculously over-the-top gore festivals like the "Saw" and "Final Destination" franchises. I think the last attempt I can recall at a more serious slasher was Rob Zombie's much-maligned version of "Halloween 2," so I think it's fair to say there aren't many movies like this anymore.
Overall I enjoyed the movie and was more than happy to see a newer theater-quality slasher, however it felt like there was something intangible missing from the film that would separate it from a classic like the original "Halloween 2," which it is clearly an homage to. For a sub-genre of horror that has been beaten to death over and over again, "Halloween 2" still feels like a fresh and exciting film today. "Cold Prey II," for whatever reason, is neither of those things.
I still like slasher movies, so I'm more than happy to be able to see a movie like this. However even as an homage to slashers, I don't feel like this movie is exciting or scary enough to be relevant in any way to modern film-making. Whether or not you want to watch "Cold Prey II" probably just depends on how much you want to see a newer movie that is basically exactly like a hundred other movies you've already seen.