Following a great opening setup that takes place during World War II, we are introduced to a modern single mother and her teenage daughter who have just moved to a small town in Sweden’s northern territory, which experiences polar nights – a month of darkness. The move comes due to the mother’s interest in learning more about genetics from one of the worlds leading figures in the field, Gerhard Beckert, who just happens to work at the town’s local hospital. Soon the mother is off to her new job and the daughter begins her new term at a new school. All is well
As the mother gets to know Beckert she is shown his star patient (his only patient) – a young girl who has been in a coma for over a year. In order to treat his patient, Beckert feeds her mysterious red pills that have unknown effects. Taking notice of the pills is one of the young doctors-in-training at the hospital who manages to swipe a canister full of the gel tabs and give them a whirl. He soon finds himself falling victim to vampirism and inadvertently passes the aforementioned pills onto a friend who takes them to a high school party and… well, you can guess what happens from there. Rest assured that the punch won’t be the only thing red at the party.
Frostbitten (aka Frostbiten) is the very first vampire film to be made in Sweden. The movie is much more of a dark comedy than it is a straightforward horror flick. It’s kind of a cross between the great thriller Shadow of the Vampire and Germany’s Night of the Living Dorks. These films are very much alike in that they rely a lot on comical setups to keep their films fresh. In doing so they separate themselves from the seriousness of other horror flicks.
An example of how comical this film is comes when the medical intern (the one who snatches the pills that look a lot like jellybeans) begins to turn into a vampire; he goes through a multitude of changes, even acquiring the odd ability to understand dogs. Hey why not, right? The dogs talk to him in the way that David Berkowitz’s dog talked to him in Spike Lee’s Summer of Sam. It’s all very silly but, again, this film was never really meant to be anything other than that.
The atmosphere here is wonderful. There is nothing quite like the look of blood on snow and the Swedish landscapes provide a wonderful backdrop for the movie’s dark subject matter. It just looks beautiful in that very gruesome kind of way.
This movie added a fantastic twist to the usual vampire fair, it updated the usual bite there neck vampire story for the pill popping youth of today. The way the movie kind of leaves things open ended I thought was genius too. It was a black horror comedy that was funny when it should be and vice versa for the scary parts.
I loved that it was based above the artic circle it gave way for them to truly make the teenagers restless and up for anything as seen when the dude is dared to take the pill and rather then think he pops it as well as the desolation of the area that if anything was too happen no one would truly be the wiser, as a Swedish american who spent many a summer and winter vacations in Lulea which is above the artic circle I can relate.
The most amazing thing about Frostbitten is its style and bits of humor, it completely recaptures the fun of the eighties horror film. The special effects are also impressive; I think it wins the award for the most realistic vampire eyes I have seen in a movie of its genre. Over all a great movie to watch with friends.
Directed by Anders Banke
Written by Daniel Ojanlatva
2005, Region 1, 90 minutes, Not rated
DVD released September 25th, 2007