Wednesday 23 March 2011

Norwegian Wood Or Limp Horror ? ...

Fritt Vilt III
aka Cold Prey 3

Luke warm prequel to the impressive original movie, and its equally thrilling sequel. The Fritt Vilt franchise sees the emotionless killing machines inception. Its tale of the young boy believed lost in the wilderness of the snow laden landscape in Jotunheimen, Norway, reveals what really happened, and then sets up the storyline leading into Fritt Vilt.

Ten years or so later we are introduced to six early twenty something’s taking a hiking trip to the Jotunheimen region during the Eighties. It is springtime and so getting to the closed down hotel resort setting for the first movies is easier, although the region is just as remote. The local police enforcer gives the group of friends a ride as far as he can in his land rover. He drops them off and promises to be at the same place to pick them up a couple of days later. Time enough for them to enjoy the benefits of outdoor living. It’s not too long, however, before they are dieing to get away from it !.

The killer is on the lose in the wooded region and there is nothing more agreeable than a bunch of young town folk meandering around acting stupid. Stalking, chasing and a heap of slashing and stabbings follow, all done in pretty graphic style. Picture Michael Myers let loose in natures back garden, even the wildlife begin to believe in Halloween !.

This is the third director in the series, and although it is accepted that there has to be a whole new cast, the characters and actors are not as accomplished as the very polished original. Although Fritt Vilt II also had a new director in Mats Stenberg, he pretty much stuck to the formula, so perfectly sculpted by Roar Uthaug directing Fritt Vilt, that the film had an almost seamless continuation. With Fritt Vilt III it all pretty much is formulaic stalk and slash, young people in peril territory. Enjoyable enough, but you just want the running duration to play through its obvious course as swiftly as possible. Knowing that the protagonist is not going to be bested, and that it is inevitable that everyone else will die, doesn’t leave much to keep suspense or surprise going for the viewer.

To its advantage the movie has the same green / brown hue to it that made the first two ventures look so very authentic. Adding credence to the fact that the movies are set twenty to thirty years ago, and delivering that feel of a slightly faded old style photograph. Perfect for the feel and texture of the movie. What is seriously undervalued here though is the effectiveness and importance the part of the snow white blanket scenario, and the ice cold conditions had to play in making parts one and two so very, very integral to the enjoy ability of the films.

Perhaps Fritt Vilt III is best then viewed first by anyone interested in seeing the series for the first time, but for those who have revelled in the delights of the originals this outing is a tame affair and is unlikely to be revisited by true followers of parts one and two. Buy Fritt Vilt, and Fritt Vilt II and treasure in your film collection, but rent and watch Fritt Vilt III if you really want to visualise the back story, which in truth is best left to the creepy imagination and inferences made in the original films. This third Cold Prey is far from the icing on the Norwegian movie landscape, and one you can a ‘fjord’ to miss !.

Movie Rating: 5/10
Review Paul Cooke / Source PAL Region 2 DVD
Fritt Vilt III (2010)
Director Mikkel Brænne Sandemose
With Ida Marie Bakkerud, Kim S. Falck-Jørgensen,
Pål Stokka, Julie Rusti, Arthur Berning, Sterla Rui,
Endre Hellestveit, Terje Ranes & Nils Johnson

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