This movie generated so much hype wondered just how it might actually live up to it. Using Norway’s winter beauty as a backdrop ‘Dead Snow’ makes homage to so many great horror movies and throws them all in together with Nazi Zombies!
The plot itself acknowledges its influences with one of the characters questioning the others, ‘how many horror movies begin with a group of friends visiting a cabin’. There is no room for pretentious plots in this movie and sure enough the movie opens as a group of friends visit a remote cabin in the Norwegian mountains. That evening an old man turns up unannounced telling them a story of a great evil lying dormant in the mountains. Sure enough, with a turn of events not to dissimilar to that of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ the group managed to awaken Colonel Herzog and his company of evil soldiers.
The story unveils slowly; as the group travel to the cabin and spend the first night there we get to know the characters well. They are all identifiable and remain surprisingly non-cliché, simply imagine yourself and your mates going on a trip and you’ve got the cast. The dialogue is amusing in parts and it is delivered in a very natural way. The isolated cabin is always a good location to use, the snow providing a refreshing difference to the forests we usually see. The pace of the movie never falters, and even though much of the violence is limited to the last 35 minutes or so, there are so many good scenes to keep your attention in the earlier part of the movie the time seems to fly by.
When the gore does come this movie truly excels. From chainsaw dismemberments to explosions, gunshots and hammer blows this movie packs it all in with an excess of some 50 gore shots in total. The effects are awesome, the blood realistic and its all shown in all its glory. It’s hard to express in words just how gory this movie is and how good it looks; just trust me you will not be disappointed.
As with all good zombie movies, blood and gore are important, but for me the quality of the zombies must take precedence. The prosthetics used in dead snow are really convincing, the faces look reasonably well preserved, an acknowledgement to the fact that they have been buried in the snow, but they maintain a ghoulish look; definitely looking a lot meaner than the majority of zombies. The uniforms and insignia are all really convincing and the SS Colonel himself looks amazing dressed in full SS garb.
Overall, for fans of zombie movies ‘Dead Snow’ is the one we’ve been waiting for all these years. It truly does capture the essence of what a good zombie movie should be, but more than simply being a fan movie, the presentation of the final product rivals that of the biggest productions; a further credit to the crew involved in its production. I genuinely cannot see any fan of the genre feeling let down by this movie, simply put it’s a modern classic and I look forward to seeing what other projects Tommy Wirkola works on next.