I’m a pretty big fan of Anchor Bay’s Norwegian slasher film Cold Prey (Fritt Vilt), a stylish, cold interpretation of our classic slasher franchises of the past 30 years. Learning that the producers were quickly going into production on a sequel (and planning a third film) only heightened by excitement, being that I’m always happy to have a new icon roaming around murdering folks. Like the first film, I was lucky enough to get my hands on a copy of Cold Prey II.
Directed by Mats Stenberg, the film takes immediate cues from John Carpenter’s Halloween sequel where Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) wakes up in a hospital following the horrid events on Halloween. In Cold Prey II, Jannicke (Ingrid Bolsø Berdal) wakes up in the hospital. All of her friends are dead… and so is the killer. The bodies are brought to the hospital, including our pickaxe-wielding madman. In an homage to Friday the 13th part 6, the murderer is resuscitated with a pair of defibrillators and is once again on a murderous rampage.
Stenberg delivers a beautifully shot sequel that could easily make a theatrical run here in the States (were it in English). But the problem with the film is that is incredibly generic and spends more time trying to emulate classic horror films that becoming a classic of its own. With no limitations, no MPAA to worry about, and a much more lenient set of producers, it’s unfortunate that Cold Prey II never quite pushes the envelope.
Sure, it’s a bloodbath and there are a few fun kills, but the in-between is so incredibly boring, and the characters are so one-dimensional. Even in Carpenter’s Halloween sequel the hospital attendants are fun and have some sort of characterization, in Cold Prey they’re just bodies to mutilate.
Even the story doesn’t attempt to do anything fun or clever. The dead killer is revived in same hospital as survivor from first film; he kills everyone before the two go head-to-head for an anticlimactic battle. We learn nothing more about either of them. It’s just boring, quite simply put.
Horror fans that enjoy a slasher purely based on the kill factor, this one tops most as it’s well shot, edited and packaged. It’s a top-notch production that’s burdened by a weak screenplay. Pop it in, talk with some friends, and watch the mayhem unfold in the background. It’s the only way to watch it.
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