What do Nazi’s, zombies, Edvard Grieg’s ‘In The Hall of the Mountain King’, intestinal rope and 450 liters of blood all have in common? They all appear in the 2009 movie ‘Dead Snow’! Let me start out by saying this movie is definitely fun. Unfortunately, despite having Nazi zombies in it, it is not all that fun. But that notwithstanding, let’s look at the film.
‘Dead Snow’, despite it being in Norwegian and requiring the use of subtitles, is an excellent zombie film. Somewhat likeable characters, the obligatory old guy who warms the younger crowd of the danger they are (who dies later in the film), the bathroom and sex scene, decapitations, chainsaws and the like, and almost intelligent Nazi zombies comprise the majority of this film. What isn’t there to love? The resident movie geek even knows how precarious a situation they see themselves in wandering off into a cabin in the deep forest with no cell phone reception and no way to reach help easily.
To further explain the story, a group of medical students take an Easter break vacation up into a remote cabin in the snow covered mountains of Norway. Little do they know this cabin is the hiding spot of a box of gold coins, necklaces and the like that, back in World War II, a group of Nazi’s maliciously took from villagers and later died trying to keep. Naturally, being many years later, these now zombie Nazi’s are looking for their gold and are willing to do whatever it takes to get it back.
The movie takes some time to explain the story, have the first sighting of whatever is in the woods, introduce the old guy who tells them they should leave and have the box of gold found so expect not to have much happen for just over half an hour. However, once it starts, watch out!
Whereas the first half of the film you might mistake for an actual attempt at a suspenseful horror film the second half of this film is definitely your typical zombie comedy: a lot of over the top blood-n-guts scenes, hilarious (and typical) cliché humor and zombies popping out of everywhere in a never-ending supply of ruthlessness. I definitely enjoyed the second half more than the first as I assume most will.
The snow covered countryside is shot well enough and really adds to the film and to the imposed isolation they characters find themselves in. Also, despite that you neither love nor hate any character more than the others, (unlike most horror films with those you definitely want to see killed versus those you want to survive) as some get killed off the remaining do about what is expected of them to try to survive the onslaught making it at least halfway reasonable as far as believability goes. The ‘two men against the world’ standoff near the end is one of the best scenes in the entirety.
I can’t give credit to any one actor over another, honestly no one stood out over anyone else. The zombies, the countryside, the gore and the story itself are the shining stars of this film. It is a definitely worth a watch, maybe even twice. However I’d save the purchase for something a little more memorable long term. The scenes that mirror other movies are too numerous for it to stand on its own, which I think is by design unfortunately.