Sundance 2009 Review: Tommy Wirkola's Dead Snow
by Alex Billington
January 24, 2009
Tonight I caught a midnight screening of Dead Snow at the world famous Egyptian theater. After 7 days of seeing romantic dramas and quirky comedies, I was really in the mood for some gory zombie mayhem. Dead Snow is that Norwegian film about Nazi zombies. It's a simple enough story - a group of people head out to remote cabin in the mountains only to discover a party of undead Nazis terrorizing the area. To be honest, I didn't really care about how great the story was (or wasn't), because in the end, I had a great time watching this, and when it comes to cult zombie movies, that experience is what counts the most.
There's not much new to the Dead Snow story that we haven't seen before. Equal number of guys, equal number of girls, out at a remote cabin without cell phone reception. Creepy guy shows up, tells them about Nazis. Next thing we know a few of them start disappearing, then some ugly zombie pops his head up, and all hell breaks loose. So why did I love it so much? It's just fun. And seeing Nazi zombies, not just the same old zombies, terrorizing some Norwegian folks out in the middle of the cold and snow is just downright frickin' fun! And of course, there's everything from chainsaws to machine guns to limbs torn apart.
I'm not saying this is the best zombie movie since 28 Days Later or even Army of Darkness. But while watching Dead Snow, it brought back the great memories I had seeing both of those zombie classics for the first time. So while it may borrow excessively from both, as well as from George Romero's films and Shaun of the Dead, it's still just as entertaining and enjoyable seeing for the first time as any of those older zombie films. Mindless horror comedy? It certainly is and it's a blast to watch, despite minor inconveniences or story contrivances. Who really cares whether a zombie comedy is that perfect? I know I don't.
The only real way to experience Dead Snow is in a packed movie theater full of zombie lovers and horror fans. Why? Because even though it may not be perfect, it's one hell of an exciting movie to see with people who cheer wildly at every last kill and laugh at every cheesy joke. Sure they made be bad jokes and overused kills, but why does that make it a bad movie? It doesn't, as long as you can have a great time watching it. And Dead Snow is not much more than pure entertainment at its finest. So if you're also looking for another great zombie film to watch with a bunch of your own zombie-loving friends, Dead Snow is it.
Sundance Rating: 8.5 out of 10