Frozen (2010 American film)

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Frozen Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAdam Green
Produced byPeter Block
Cory Neal
Written byAdam Green
StarringEmma Bell
Shawn Ashmore
Kevin Zegers
Music byAndy Garfield
CinematographyWill Barratt
Edited byEd Marx
A Bigger Boat
ArieScope Pictures
Distributed byAnchor Bay Films
Release date
  • January 24, 2010 (2010-01-24) (Sundance)
  • February 5, 2010 (2010-02-05) (United States)
Running time
93 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$3.8 million[1]

Frozen is a 2010 American thriller film written and directed by Adam Green and starring Emma Bell, Shawn Ashmore and Kevin Zegers. It tells the story of three college students spending a weekend snowboarding and skiing. They become stuck in a chairlift while climbing Mount Holliston when the ski resort closes before they have finished their run. This forces the stranded survivors to make life-or-death choices, in order to avoid staying put and freezing to death.


Childhood friends Dan Walker and Joe Lynch, along with Dan's girlfriend Parker O'Neil, spend a Sunday afternoon at a New England ski resort on Mount Holliston. They are eager to take one last run down the mountain before they go home, convincing the ski lift operator to let them up despite a storm moving in.

Before the group gets all the way to the top, the operator is called into the boss's office and is replaced by a co-worker. As he leaves, he tells the co-worker that there are only three skiers left. Another set of three skiers comes down the mountain. When he sees them, he shuts down the ski lift, stranding the three friends in their ski lift chair far above the ground.

Due to a misunderstanding between the chair lift operators, the lift was shut off before the three of them could get out. They take it as a joke, but the ski resort's lights are then turned off, leaving the three friends in fear and shock. Parker knows the ski slopes have closed for the week. Dan feels he has no choice but to jump from the ski lift chair and get help, as they will not survive up there in the bitter cold until Friday.

After discussing the danger, Dan decides to jump off the lift. Upon hitting the ground, he suffers a compound fracture on both of his legs. Soon, his screams and the scent of blood attracts a pack of wolves. Joe, now fearing for Dan's safety, decides to try to get to the ground by traversing the suspension cable between the lifts and steel support tower. However, as wolves close in on Dan, he returns to the chair and holds Parker as Dan is brutally torn apart by the wolves. Parker and Joe have a heated argument when Parker accuses Joe of not stopping Dan from jumping. Joe retorts by telling her that she should have stayed home to give him and Dan a guys weekend, but instead they were forced to watch Parker on the bunny slopes and didn't get as many rides in as they could have, leading to them being out so late. However, they quickly reconcile realizing the danger of their situation.

In the morning, Parker awakes with her hand frozen on the bar, which she had grabbed during her sleep. She is also suffering from severe frostbite. Joe discusses his previous life experiences with her, before attempting to traverse the ski lift cable again, and onto a support tower. In doing this, the bolt holding the chair to the cable becomes dangerously loose and begins to rock. Joe makes it to the support tower, but the cable has severely injured his hands. On the ground, however, the wolves have gathered again and wait for him. After being attacked, he manages to scare off the wolves by using a ski pole, and slides down the mountain on Parker's snowboard, planning to return with help, but the wolves chase after him. Some time passes and Joe never returns, leading Parker to attempt to climb up to the cable herself and to the support pole.

As she stands in the chair to get to the cable, the bolt comes loose and causes the lift to fall. Held by the cable, the lift hangs a few meters above the ground. Parker jumps out of the lift and lands safely, but the lift falls and lands on her ankle, fracturing it. Injured, she begins to slide and crawl down the mountain. She encounters the wolves feasting on Joe's mutilated corpse. Too occupied with Joe's corpse, they ignore her as she continues down, eventually crawling to a nearby road.

The first car that passes doesn't see her but soon a minivan appears and the driver, seeing her outstretched body lying in the snow along the side of the road, stops to assist her. The film ends with the driver saying they are going to a nearby hospital telling Parker she’ll be okay, followed by Parker closing her eyes as she remembers Dan telling her she’ll be okay.



Frozen was filmed at Snowbasin near Ogden, Utah, in February 2009[2] and distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment.[3]


The film premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.[4] It was released in North American theaters on February 5, 2010,[5] with distribution from Anchor Bay Films.[6]

While playing at Sundance, the film caused quite a stir with numerous faintings reported from audience members that could not handle the tension of the film. One such fainting happened at the Tower Theater in Salt Lake City.[7] Frozen also opened the Glasgow FrightFest.[8] On February 5, the film had multiple screens in areas in Boston, New York, Los Angeles,[9] Salt Lake City, Dallas, Denver, Philadelphia, Minneapolis and Chicago.[10]

The film premiered on February 5, 2010 with the entire cast and crew at Mann Chinese 6 on Hollywood Blvd.[11] Frozen was released in Malaysia on June 24, 2010.

Box office[edit]

Frozen opened to a first weekend box office of $131,395. It underperformed the following weeks. Internationally, the film earned over $2.4 million, bringing its total gross receipts to slightly less than $2.7 million. At its widest domestic release, it screened in 106 theaters.[1]

Home media[edit]

The film was released on a single disc DVD and Blu-ray on September 28, 2010.[12] Bonus features include an audio commentary with writer/director Adam Green and the leads Shawn Ashmore, Kevin Zegers and Emma Bell; the documentaries "Catching Frostbite: The Origins of Frozen", "Three Below Zero", "Shooting Through It" and "Beating the Mountain: Surviving Frozen"; deleted scenes; and the official theatrical trailer.[13] The Blu-ray features an exclusive commentary from Adam Green, cinematographer Will Barratt, and editor Ed Marx.[14]


A soundtrack album consisting of the film's complete score, composed by Andy Garfield was released by 2M1 Records Group in January 2011. It is available in a limited pressed run of 500 copies signed by Garfield and Adam Green. The album was produced by George Fox. Additionally, it has been released on iTunes and Amazon as a download.


Critical response[edit]

Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 63% of 92 surveyed critics gave it a positive review, and the average rating was 5.85/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "Writer/director Adam Green has the beginnings of an inventive, frightening yarn in Frozen, but neither the script nor the cast are quite strong enough to truly do it justice."[15] On Metacritic has a weighted average score of 43 out of 100, based on 16 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[16]

Critic Richard Roeper called the film "an entertaining, suspense-filled, sometimes wonderfully grotesque little scarefest",[17] though The Hollywood Reporter commented that it "is not written, directed, or acted well enough to be a first-rate thriller".[18] Jeannette Catsoulis of The New York Times made it a NYT Critics' Pick and wrote, "A minimalist setup delivers maximum fright in Frozen, a nifty little chiller that balances its cold terrain with an unexpectedly warm heart."[19] Peter Debruge of Variety wrote, "Don’t be surprised if the movie’s most wince-inducing moments come not from the "disturbing images" (as the MPAA describes the sight of a leg bone sticking six inches out of one character's ski pants) but rather of the bad acting and worse dialogue."[20]


It was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Horror Film, but lost to Drag Me to Hell.[21]


  1. ^ a b "Frozen (2010)". Box Office Mojo. 2010-04-01. Retrieved 2010-08-26.
  2. ^ Barton, Steve (2009-12-28). "Official Frozen Website Opens its Doors". Dread Central. Retrieved 2010-08-26.
  3. ^ Miska, Brad (2009-12-10). "Sundance '10: First Hi-Res Look at Adam Green Chiller 'Frozen'". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved 2010-08-26.
  4. ^ Miska, Brad (2009-12-15). "Sundance '10: Low Quality Look at the Official One Sheet for 'Frozen'". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved 2010-08-26.
  5. ^ Barton, Steve (2009-12-10). "First Stills from Adam Green's Frozen". Dread Central. Retrieved 2010-08-26.
  6. ^ Miska, Brad (2009-12-27). "New 'Season of the Witch' Stills, 'Frozen' Website Launch". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved 2010-08-26.
  7. ^ Barton, Steve (2010-01-29). "EXCL: Things Get Chilling at Sundance Frozen Screenings". Dread Central. Retrieved 2010-08-26.
  8. ^ Barton, Steve (2010-02-01). "Exclusive Image and Premiere News: 2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams and Frozen Invade Scotland". Dread Central. Retrieved 2010-08-26.
  9. ^ Miska, Brad (2010-01-28). "Update: First Cities Announced for Adam Green's 'Frozen'". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved 2010-08-26.
  10. ^ Barton, Steve (2010-01-28). "Find Out Where You Can Get Frozen". Dread Central. Retrieved 2010-08-26.
  11. ^ Barton, Steve (2010-02-03). "See Frozen This Friday and Saturday in LA With the Cast and the Crew". Dread Central. Retrieved 2010-08-26.
  12. ^ Barton, Steve (2010-07-06). "Get Frozen this September!". Dread Central. Retrieved 2010-08-26.
  13. ^ Barton, Steve (2010-07-09). "Exclusive Early Word on Frozen DVD and Blu-Ray Specs". Dread Central. Retrieved 2010-08-26.
  14. ^ Barton, Steve (2010-07-15). "Blu-ray and DVD Art: Adam Green's Frozen". Dread Central. Retrieved 2010-08-26.
  15. ^ "Frozen". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 14, 2020.
  16. ^ "Frozen (2010) Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved October 14, 2020.
  17. ^ Roeper, Richard (2010-02-05). "Three friends face a final deep freeze". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on 2014-06-10. Retrieved 2014-01-02.
  18. ^ Greenberg, James (2010-10-14). "Frozen -- Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2014-01-02.
  19. ^ Catsoulis, Jeannette (2010-02-04). "A Nightmare on a Ski Lift". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-01-02.
  20. ^ Debruge, Peter (2010-01-28). "Review: 'Frozen'". Variety. Retrieved 2014-01-02.
  21. ^ Moore, Debi (2010-02-19). "2010 Saturn Award Nominees Announced". Dread Central. Retrieved 2010-08-26.

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