Based on actual events.
Scott Walker‘s FROZEN GROUND is a semi-suspense film that stars Nicholas Cage, a name that would otherwise cause me to deduct a few credibility points from a film. However, fortunate for Cage and the other noteworthy performances by John Cusack and Vanessa Hudgens are paired with an amazing true tale and scenic Alaskan backdrop. This is perhaps one of Cage’s “few” and best performances in a film. His other was as Charlie and Donald Kaufman in Adaptation (2002). Based on a true story, Frozen Ground follows Robert Hansen (Cusack), a serial killer that haunted the citizens of Anchorage, Alaska.
Alaska State Trooper Jack Halcombe (Cage) is in charge of gathering evidence to convict Robert Hansen (Cusack), a man charged with minor crimes in the past and now accused of sexually assaulting and murdering multiple women for years. Halcombe is assisted by Cindy (Hudgens) an escaped victim of Hansen. The two further invesitgate the seedy underbelly of Anchorage to find the elusive threat.
Cusack manages to bring forth the unsuspecting killer aspect well on screen. He appears to be a timid man that wouldn’t harm a fly and works in a bakery, however underneath the facade is a man who enjoys torturing helpless women he considers to be of lower stature. Hudgens also gives a surprisingly good performance and perhaps her role in this film will catapult her to bigger and better roles. She manages to convey Cindy’s trauma to the audience. Surprisingly, musician 50 Cent makes a cameo appearance as a proprietor and profiteer of women (i.e. pimp). Cannot say much for his performance other than it is typical for his character role.
A negative about the film is that how dark some of the cinematography presented. Alaska isn’t known for being a bright and sunny place, however it would have been scenically better to at least allow for some of the scenes be captured during daylight hours. In addition, what also complemented a few of the scenes in the film is that is facilitated the dangerously suspenseful moods as Cage’s character pursued the elusive killer.
All told, the film does okay with creating element tension for audiences but lack the necessary “fear” required for it to pass as an intense and suspenseful thriller. Not the best film ever made–but it does what it can.
DVD Special Features for Frozen Ground includes:
• Commentary with writer/director Scott Walker and producers Mark Ordesky and Jane Fleming
• Deleted scenes with optional commentary by writer/director Scott Walker
• Examining The Frozen Ground: Behind the Scenes with interviews of cast/crew
• Extended interviews with cast and crew
• Trailer Gallery
Frozen Ground presents in widescreen presentation courtesy of Lionsgate Home Entertainment. The film features English 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio with optional English and Spanish subtitles. The deleted scenes aren’t really necessary as the final cut of the film is long enough to tell the story but still interesting to view to give a little more depth into the characters. Examining The Frozen Ground is a revealing featurette, showing how fascinated the cast and crew were with the film’s true backstory, the research done on the case and its effect on Alaska overall. Alaskan trooper Glenn Flothe was contacted to provide information on the case and Hansen’s psychology. The interviews give more insight into the cast and crew’s thoughts about the case and their roles than the soundbytes within Examining the Frozen Ground. In addition to Frozen Ground comes with an Ultraviolet code for streaming.
Art and supplementary materials courtesy of ©2013 of Lionsgate Home Entertainment. All rights reserved.