Cold Prey is a Norwegian version of the classic isolated cabin killer movie. A group of friends on a snowboarding trip find themselves stranded at a ski lodge that has been abandoned since the 1970s. Of course there is a homicidal maniac on the loose and members of the group soon start dropping like flies.
Cold Prey is stylishly made and has some engaging characters with relationships you can actually believe in. Possibly benefiting from being in a foreign language; the environment seems more exotic for not being able to understand what they are saying. The stark scenery of snow-covered mountains is beautiful and menacing at the same time contributing to the sense of isolation of the characters.
Since I’m from a country that doesn’t get much snow, it took me a while to get my head round the character’s blasé attitude to being stranded up a mountain in a snow storm (with a friend with an open leg fracture!). I thought initially that it was the usual ridiculous disregard for the severity of circumstances that most people in horror films display when lazy writers want to progress the plot to the stabby parts. However, when I realised that these people are just more comfortable in these situations their behaviour and actions feel more authentic.
Naturally a lot of questionable decisions are made by the characters and some of the situations feel contrived but this is par for the course for this kind of film. The believable relationships between the characters and the fact that the majority of the decisions they make are sensible and believable compensate for these minor flaws.
The violence is believable and realistic and there is nothing of the sadistic or supernatural elements that seem to be required by horror films these days. You get the feeling that the killer is just a deranged loner defending his home and I find that this enhances horror films in ways that the sadistic or supernatural killers in other movies don’t.
The end of the film leaves the story open ended allowing for a sequel.