Oh my… When I made my Zombieland review and I said that I did not like Dead Snow, the fans of that movie were quick to try to convince me otherwise… So let’s go ahead and officially tear it a new one! Yeah I am not even going to try to be tactful here. I do not like this movie at all. I did not like it when I saw it. Plus seeing it more times and hearing what people have to say has not deterred my opinion in the slightest. It has even gotten to the point that whenever I think of bad zombie movies, this is one of the first thing that pops into my mind. It irritates me that much!
For those of you uninitiated, Dead Snow is a 2009 ‘tongue in cheek’ horror film from Norway. It is about a group of friends who decide to go partying in the mountains for the weekend, because that is original. They later come across an old hiker who tells a story of a group of Nazis that were part of the Einsatzgruppen (basically Hitler’s death squads) who terrorized a small town and after trying to raid it near the end of the war were run off by the townsfolk to freeze to death in the mountains. Then… The classic horror movie happens. They are killed off one by one by a group of indestructible Nazi Zombies, who cannot be killed, and will not stop pursuing them until they are given their gold back. That is right… Nazi Gold. Jesus, I cannot even get through the stupidity of the synopsis without complaining. There really is no more need for set up here, let’s just get into the pros and cons of this thing and get it over with.
Make Up and Effects are Good
Okay yes… This film has some pretty damn good make up and effects. The gore scenes are very gory and looks pretty realistic but at the same time have a slapstick kind of element to them. The zombies also are very well done and look both terrifying and zombie like. Plus if you consider the fact that this film only had an $800,000 budget and the way these effects look… I really have to give it up to their make up team for doing a stellar job. So really there are many problems with this film… But this really isn’t it.
The Characters are Nameless Slasher Flick Stereotypes
After seeing the cast of characters show up for their tired and over used ‘Spring Break Party Time’, I found myself playing the game, ‘NAME THAT STEREOTYPE’! You have the blonde slutty bimbo, the fat but lovable goofy guy, the ‘normal’ brunette girl, the badass who goes out and does badass things. Really the gang is all here! And if the characters do not have stereotypes… Then they do not have character development. These characters are designed solely by the horror movie character they are supposed to play and that is it. I am so tired of these tired and overused stereotypes… Even in a film that is trying to be tongue in cheek about it. And I really do not think I am asking for too much. I like horror films, I can even get behind slasher film, just give us new and original characters we can get behind instead of just a handful of stereotypes. I do not even want to see these stereotypes in a parody or see them being made fun of. I just do not want to see them!
Yes it is Intentionally Goofy and Tongue in Cheek… But that Does Not Give it a Free Pass
Yes this film is ‘suppose’ to be goofy. Yes it is ‘not supposed to be taken seriously’… Yes this film is a story about a group of hikers who are attacked by Nazi Zombies who are after Nazi Gold. I understand that this is not supposed to be a serious script… BUT that does not mean that this movie gets a free pass!
Just because it did what it intended to do, does not make the film good or prevent it from criticism or exempt it from character development and decent plot structure. The best example I can find for this is something like Evil Dead or Army of Darkness and hell I’ll even say it, David Arquette’s film Eight Legged Freaks is a far better films then this. Those three types of films are how you create a horror/comedy movie. It has genuinely scary moments to it but also has fun and relatable characters who you want to cheer for. I love watching Bruce Campbell as Ash Williams kill shit and I can find it both suspenseful and comedic. But Dead Snow is not the way that you do it. The last two characters to be left alive near the end of the film, Martin and Roy… I know absolutely fucking nothing about. I know a little bit about Martin, but Roy… I didn’t even know this character’s name until I looked it up on Wikipedia. The only way I know any of these characters is by their stereotypes and if they do not have stereotypes, then I do not know them! So why should I give a shit if they are being attacked and killed by Nazi Zombies?
The Only Reason This Film is Popular… Nazi Zombies
Let’s be honest here, I have seen movies like this all the damn time with direct to DVD films and Asylum movies. It really is a dime a dozen type of thing and the only reason that it is popular is because of the villains. The mere idea of Nazi Zombies is enough of a sell-point to get people interested. Not to mention it will drag in the zombie enthusiast crowd who will call from the rooftops, “Nazi Zombies!!! This film has Nazi Zombies!!!” and people will come running. Other than that… This film has very little else to stand on.
I know I am going to get flack for this. But if you are going to review films then you need to have thick skin and I am just going to flat-out say that Dead Snow is not in the least bit a good movie. I believe that it is has a formulaic plot, overused characters, overused settings, and simply tries to make up for it with decent make up effects, gore, and the Nazi Zombies Gimmick. Which is a perfect term to call the film. It is a gimmick movie.
Final Score 0.5/5
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