HYPOTHERMIA (2010 - release DVD 2012)
First thought when I finished this film... that was a horrible ending.
Man do I hate a bad ending. You ever been talking to someone about a film and they're all like "Ya you know it was a pretty good movie. I mean the ending was a little weak, but overall not bad"
No. Bad movie going public!
An ending is not just a part of a movie, I mean, it's the most important part of the movie. I mean okay... example...
You go on a date, a super awesome date, great chat, so much in common. The meal is good. You are walking the lovely he/she to their door. You reach the front step and then as the moment of the good evening kiss nears... you lean in... and are suddenly kicked in the knee cap, nipple twisted, and have your eyeball licked...
Now was that an acceptable date? The answer my friends is no. That is a run home, lose number, facebook friend delete situation. So why do we accept non awesome film endings? Well, I'm done, and have been done. But let's fill in the blanks.
So Michael Rooker and his family (wife, son, son's fiancé) are at the family cottage by a frozen lake for some good old ice fishing and social. While out on the lake they meet an annoying, but likeable duo of Father and son city slicker. Then as they all try to get along out on the ice and catch some fish they become aware of a rather large, and possible murderous fish beneath the surface. The city slickers make it their mission to capture it, and the good ol' country folk get pulled along.
I mean anything with Michael Rooker is probably you know, worth a view, hence this review. The locations and settings are iced out full winter style and beautiful. Some of the long range ice shots are just fantastic. Growing up in my kiddy years I spent many a day out on a frozen lake, and it took me back. The writing early on, and for the majority of the movie is pretty good. Very bland, and normal, and even a few genuine chuckles. It just felt real. Real cold, real people, and then a real threat.
So the creature - all honesty- it does look a little silly. But, I am a guy who has been shaking his fist in the air with every over CGI'd monster that has been shoved down my throat, so really, once I reminded myself that, I grew to enjoy the charm of the full practical creature. That's right folks. Man in a suit. Boo and ya. The issues start when the action picks up and the blood starts flowing (full practical blood effects too, I know right, I was stoked at this point). Why, when a son is severely injured, and clearly so, would any Dad refuse to take him to hospital. Especially when he is nothing but a slightly in over his head, over all good natured city slicker? Next issue, really how smart is this thing? They throw around all kinds of ideas for what it might be... none of those ideas however explain some of it's uber attack strategies.
Then, then we get to the sin of a film that has been very for a good portion; well acted, and fun, and different... a weak... a very weak last 15 minutes. Where people that have seemed intelligent for the most part do ridiculous things. Also... wait what... the Rooker gets no showdown? That is nearly unforgivable... and then you are gonna throw some gibberish about understanding the creatures motivations? It killed people. Its a monster. Does it need us to care why?
I get what they were trying to establish with the creature/man, hunter/prey, habitat dominance, but after the rest of the movie it just didn't fit for me. This needed to be a straight creature feature. Man rising against beast to defend his family. Terror, thrills, maybe even you know... self sacrifice for the cause... something... anything more than what we got.
Movie scale 2 out of 5 stars
Horror scale 2.5 out of 5 stars
Mr. Rooker as always held it down. Far exceeding what the script gave him. I have mad respect for his screen game. Just not enough in the mix to bring it all together.
- Charles Boonsweet.