With the zombie movie resurgence at the start of the new century, it can be a little difficult to find a movie that sticks out among the undead horde. Today’s movie is one such movie because the concept alone almost immediately grabs your attention. I first heard about this movie on some random web page years ago when I was looking up information about another movie from Norway, Trollhunter. After seeing a clip from the movie, I thought it looked pretty good and managed to watch it online and thought it was really good, then watched it again when it came on Netflix, since they had an English dub version. I had thought about buying a copy of this movie several times but never got around to it. Now I finally own it so I am sure that I will be watching Dead Snow many more times throughout the years.
The plot: A woman, Sara, is being chased through a snow covered forest in Norway until she is finally cornered and killed by Nazis. The next day, a group of friends (Martin, Roy, Hanna, Liv, Vegerd, Erlend, and Chris) are heading up to a cabin where Sara is supposed to be meeting them in a day or two. When they get to the parking lot, Vegard unloads his snowmobile and heads off for the cabin with the bulk of the supplies so he can get the heat turned on while the others start walking after him. Vegard gets to the cabin and checks to see if Sara has arrived but when he sees no sign of her, he heads inside and starts a fire in the furnace. When the others get there, the group have fun playing games in the snow before moving inside as night falls. When Liv goes outside to use the outhouse, she sees someone moving about in the woods and quickly tells the others. The others think it is possibly Sara or an animal but Liv says it was neither of them. Roy goes to look outside and doesn’t see anything but when he turns to come back inside, a hiker named Turgaer is standing behind him and asks if he can have some coffee. As Turgaer is drinking his coffee, he asks what brings the group to the mountains and they tell him they are on break from medical school. When Turgaer learns that Sara is traveling through the mountains to get there, he grows concerned and says strange things have happened in the mountains. He then tells the group about how during the Nazi occupation of World War II, a Nazi SS force led by Colonel Herzog occupied the town but when they soldiers tried looting the town towards the end of the war, the villagers revolted and killed some of the soldiers while chasing Herzog and the rest up into the mountains, where they were believed to have frozen to death. Roy mocks Turgaer’s story, who gets upset and leaves, after thanking Hanna for the coffee. Later, after setting up his tent for the night, Turgaer hears something moving about outside and goes to investigate only to be attacked and killed by a Nazi zombie. That night, Vegard is woken by someone walking out of his room and placing something underneath the floorboards. Thinking it is Sara, Vegard calls out for her and follows the figure outside, where he sees Sara spitting up blood. Vegard jolts up in bed, revealing it was a dream, and decides to go looking for Sara in the morning, telling Martin and Hanna that if he and Sara aren’t back by tomorrow, then they should head back to the car and get help. As Vegard looks for Sara, he sees Turgaer’s tent and decides to check to see if he is ok but finds his corpse inside the tent. Seeing some footprints in the snow, Vegard follows them but ends falling into a hidden cavern and is knocked unconscious. Back at the cabin, the group continues partying when Erlend finds a small box full of gold coins and valuables. Martin thinks they should leave them alone but the tohers continue to look at the treasure. When Erlend goes to use the outhouse, Chris joins him and the two have sex in the outhouse, with Erlend leaving afterwards while Chris stays to use the outhouse. When she is finished, she sees someone watching her and moving around outside and thinks it is Erlend when she is suddenly pulled into the opening of the outhouse. An injured Chris manages to crawl out of the outhouse and screams for help but before anyone can come out to help her, she is dragged off by a zombie. Martin, Roy, and Erlend go looking for Chris and see no sign of her but Martin finds Sara’s bag buried in the snow. Hanna sees someone holding Chris’ head outside the window and screams out and when Liv goes to check, a Nazi zombie smashes through the window and grabs her hair but Hanna grabs a knife and cuts Liv’s hair. As Nazi zombies try to break into the cabin, the group tries to defend it and Erlend is killed and dragged outside during the fight. The next day, Martin and Roy decide to try and distract the zombies and lure them away while Hanna and Liv head to the cars and get help. Meanwhile, Vegard regains consciousness and explores the cave and finds German weapons and supplies, as well as Sara’s head. Suddenly, a zombie attacks him and tries to bite him but he is able to knock it unconscious. When a second zombie attacks him, Vegard kills it but the first zombie attacks him again and knocks them off the cliff. Vegard manages to grab the intestines from the dead zombie to stop their fall and the zombie bites his neck before he can knock it off. Hanna and Liv are chased by zombies and forced to separate. Liv is knocked unconscious and when she comes too, finds the zombies are pulling out her intestines so she grabs one of their grenades and uses it to kill herself and the zombies attacking her. Hanna hides in a tree from the zombies chasing her but when a mother bird squawks at her for being by her nest, Hanna kills the bird but finds the zombies have noticed her. Hanna manages to kill one of the zombies and runs from the other but when she finds herself trapped on the edge of a cliff, she chooses to break the ice and sends both her and the zombie tumbling to the ground below. Hanna survives the fall and after diging herself out of the snow, finds the zombie survived as well but is trapped and she quickly kills it. Vegard manages to climb back up the cliff and, after stitching up his neck, retrieves a machine gun from the cave, mounts it onto the snowmobile, and heads off to find the others. Martin and Roy try fending off the zombies with moltov cocktails but when Roy accidentally sets the cabin on fire, they head into the nearby shed. Finding some tools in their, the two arm themselves and head out to attack the zombies. Vegard shows up to help fight and learns about what happened when he is suddenly attacked by some zombies and ripped into pieces. Martin and Roy attack the zombies but Martin accidentally kills Hanna, who had returned to the cabin and grabbed his arm as he was killing a zombie. As Martin is staring in shock at Hanna’s body, a zombie bites his arm so Martin uses a chainsaw to cut off his arm, then lights a fire to cauterize the wound, only to be bitten in the crotch by another zombie. After killing that zombie, Maritn and Roy approach Herzog, who summons hundreds of zombies up from the snow. Martin and Roy decide to make a run for it but Herzog hits Roy with a hammer and as he stumbles in pain from the blow, he ends up disemboweling himself on a tree branch. When Martin sees Herzog retrieve a watch from Roy’s body, he realizes what the zombies want and heads back to the remains of the cabin. Martin retrieves the box of treasure from the ashes and hands it to Herzog, who allows him to pass unharmed through the zombie army. Martin manages to make it back to the car but as he goes to start it, a gold coin falls out of his pocket and after he picks it up, Herzog appears and smashes through the window to retrieve it.
met with mixed to positive reviews from the critics, holding a 67% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is that, “Though it doesn’t cover new ground, Dead Snow is an entertaining mix of camp, scares, and blood and guts.” When coming up with his film, writer/director Tommy Wirkola decided to add the Nazi element to his zombies, thinking that Nazi’s were one of the things more evil than zombies, and used the Nazi occupation of Norway during World War II to help set up the plot.The movie was a modest hit at the box office, earning almost $2 million off of an $800,000 budget and, after filming his first big studio movie (Hansel And Gretel: Witch Hunters), Wirkola filmed a sequel in 2014 called Dead Snow: Red Vs Dead.
This is such a good movie, bloody and gore filled, sure, but good. The acting was pretty good, with all of the main actors doing a good job, though there were times where the dubbing was a bit over the top. The story was good, with Wirkola using the legend of draugrs, Scandinavian undead that guarded treasure hordes, to help explain Herzog and the Nazis’ actions. There was a lot of dark humor in this movie, some of it in the dialogue and some in the actions occurring on screen. The special effects were pretty good for the most part, though there was one time where the green screen effect looked a little off. Considering the budget, I was surprised at the amount of blood and gore in this movie but they did a great job making this into one of the bloodiest zombie movies I have seen in quite a while. A fun movie that as you cheering, or laughing, every time a zombie is killed.
Rating: 4 out of 5