I always feel that the hardest subgenre in horror to tackle are monster films- werewolves, vampires, swamp creatures, you name it. The make up needs to be perfect, the sound design must be superb and the entire essence of the film needs to be serious- FROSTBITEN hits all of the marks for most of the movie, which is why it will be remembered as one of the better vampire movies in the last decade.
The film is pretty simple; it follows a group of Vampires who terrorize a city in Norrbotten. The film begins with one infected individually and spirals out of control into a party at someone’s house.
I always found it hard to pinpoint what exactly makes a good monster movie, but today I discovered what makes a monster movie I personally enjoy. Watching FROSTBITEN brought me back to films like GINGER SNAPS, TEEN WOLF and of course an AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON- only it was a vampire film. Have you ever seen Jim Carrey in ONCE BITTEN? Imagine the evolution of his character in a modern, hardcore horror film. The real magic of a monster film is watching the character(s) go through the various steps of their transformation and realizing what they are becoming. What I loved about this film was that they use one character as a device for the entire clan of teens whom become vampires. He eats the rabbit, watches his reflection vanish, has ultra sensitive hearing, can see in the dark and can talk to animals- thus when the other teens become vampires we understand all of the rules and what they are capable of.
The way the screenplay is written is fantastic, as you can see above the film has many plants that grow and flourish into one hell of a film. Another great device used is a “pill”, which kick starts the entire epidemic. There are red pills that when taken turn the user into a vampire. We are shown this early in the film thus adding suspense later when other characters “almost” take it.
But enough about the plot, you’ll be sucked in quicker than a vampire can extract blood for your neck, let’s talk about the special FX, gore and make-up. These vampires are new to their trade, almost like a baby eating for the first time, there’s so much blood the clean up isn’t going to be easy. They have blood splattered faces and eat animals almost in chunks rather than sucking out the blood. It’s obvious this was planned because the “head vampire” drinks his blood nice and clean from his prey’s neck. Another impressive portion of the film is the CG work, which is pretty flawless to my untrained eye. The vampires climbing on walls looks fantastic, the red eyes glowing in the dark are freaky as hell and when a vampire dies their rotting corpses looks incredibly real. The only problem were some of the prosthetics, like the vampire hands, look slightly rubbery and wobbly.
Speaking of small problems, the entire tone of the film is serious and yet there are a few campy moments. I can’t stand a lousy vampire snarl or a stupid “I’m a sexy vampire” glance- there are a few of those that are easily forgiven by how well the rest of the film plays out. There is a pretty heavy cast in this film and most of them are quite good, probably because the teens are just acting like themselves (the drugs, partying and drinking).
In the end FROSTBITEN is a well-made, solid, scary, bloody vampire film that’s sure to have you begging for a US DVD release. Overall this is one of the most entertaining vampire pics since the late ’80s and I highly recommend hunting it down.