CONS: Being self-aware while following a formula is still following a formula. The zombie thing is overdone by now (though perhaps not in Norway)
THINGS I LIKED: The scenery was beautiful and haunting at times. When the guy tries to throw the Molotov cocktail and misses the window, setting the cabin on fire (because this is probably what I would end up doing). I don’t care if a small intestine can support a grown man’s weight – it was funny. The rockin’ end credit song (Fire, Fire, Fire by Animal Alpha). I had a Norwegian friend in college and now I’ve seen his homeland (albeit overrun by Nazi zombies)
NITPICKS: That snot string did not need to remain on camera that long. If something honestly possessed the strength to pull a human skull in two there’s no way you could just beat it up.
I’ve seen a lot of horror films, and I liked Dead Snow, for what that’s worth. It’s an old-school horror movie…what horror movies were before Hostel, Saw and The Human Centipede. Gang of young people (most pretty, with one token dumpy guy) go to vacation spot, engage in lots of drinking and unprotected sex, get warned of vacation spot’s spooky past by creepy mechanic/caretaker/groundskeeper, ignore said warning until one of them goes mysteriously missing, then, right about the time everyone starts getting understandably nervous about this, the shit completely hits the snow. If you watch horror films, you have seen all this before.
I liked Dead Snow though…maybe for that reason. Maybe after Hostel and Saw I needed Dead Snow. For one, it’s a comedy of sorts…I say of sorts because it’s not ‘gag-funny’, it’s more subversively funny. The team splitting up, and then one of the sub-teams deciding maybe they should split up too amused me. The guy amputating his own arm with a chainsaw because he got bit – not because he had any proof he needed to but because he saw it in a movie and ‘you’re supposed to do that’ – even despite the protests of his friend (they were both med students by the way) entertained me. Even when they did the token bit where the tension rises until something suddenly scares the shit out of the guy which then turns out to just be one of his friends, I smirked when the startled guy turned to the girl and scolds her for it (“Hey…I’m carrying a shotgun”).
Beyond that it was well made…Nazi creepiness is burned on the human psyche now, and they’re even more creepy when they’re zombies. As zombies go, these were interesting in that they still seemed to have their intelligence (or some of it anyway)…they used weapons and tools (including binoculars to spy on the campers), and a head zombie was in command, able to communicate orders in one case merely by gesturing with his head. They behaved somewhat like a military squad, which I suppose is what they were prior to their zombification. As movie zombies go they were good zombies – easy enough to kill individually to give the hapless med students at least a fighting chance, but big enough in numbers to tip the scales in their favor.
BOTTOM LINE: Is it high art? No, but not even its creators would claim that I don’t think. It’s fun, reasonably well acted, at least one brain hits the floor along with yards and yards of steaming intestines. I’m not advocating having a few drinks with your friends and then watching this movie, but have a few drinks with your friends and then watch this movie.