Call me crazy, but when I think of hotbeds of horror movies, Norway isn't top-of-mind. However, the Norwegians have been making quite the splash overseas with "Cold Prey" " thoughtfully retitled for us Yanks from its native-tongue name of "Fritt Vilt."
The film doesn't break new ground, but it does show that the American slasher genre is alive and well, and can be done by the hands of people whose names tend to have diagonal lines through the letter "O" just as well as Hollywood can do it. In other words, it plays just like a "Friday the 13th" sequel, only with frostbite.
The premise focuses on five photogenic young people on a snowboarding trip. That's cut short when one of them is badly injured, so they haul him to the nearest shelter they can find. That happens to be an abandoned hotel "¦ well, make that almost abandoned. A most unfriendly mountain man lives there, too, and his hobbies boil down to messy homicides.
With his full-body winter gear and goggles, he most resembles the gas-masked killer of "My Bloody Valentine," but a comparison to any slasher film isn't unwarranted. Just as you're used to, the attractive cast gets slimmed down one by one, until you're left with a single character who manages to outsmart the predator in the final moments.
Or at least until the sequel, which, predictably, is already out on that other half of the globe. Again, "Cold Prey" is by no means a classic, but it's a stylish, slick exercise in the sick.