Coming to theatres from director Scott Walker and Lionsgate is the true story of a rampage of pain in THE FROZEN GROUND.
This film tells the story of Alaskan State Trooper Jack Halcombe (Nicolas Cage). In the wilderness bodies of young women are showing up. Halcombe is assigned to the case and as one body is covered and the case begins, another body turns up.
He doesn’t want the case from the beginning as he’s only got a few more weeks on the job. Halcombe knows he can’t walk away and as a seventeen-year-old girl Cindy (Vanessa Hudgens) becomes one of the killers intended victims but survives. She is harsh, brash, works as a prostitute with pimp Clate Johnson (Curtis ‘50 Cent’ Jackson) and Halcombe wants to save her.
The killer is a man who has spent 13 years hunting these young women. He has refocused on Cindy who’s seen in the local strip club and panic sets in – for them both.
Will that panic be enough to help Halcombe before another body is found?
FINAL WORD: Cage as Halcombe turns in a dual role here. One moment he doesn’t care and seems to be going through the motions and the next he’s pumped up. Trying to work around the clues and the lack of cooperation from Cindy/Hudgens makes the investigation tougher. Cage has this character down pat but I’m still deciding whether that’s a good or bad thing.
Hudgens as Cindy is everything you’d expect from a seventeen year old who thinks she knows it all. She is catty, unpredictable and mouth, all the things you’d expect from a girl her age. Trying to act as if the incident doesn’t phase her, Hudgens gets down to the grit of her character whose underlying plea is to be saved.
Cusak is the winner here. He is quietly and seamlessly diabolical in this role and it shows in those moments where he can make his face go blank. Since seeing is scary side as Hillary van Wetter in THE PAPERBOY it did not surprise me to see Cusak go into the same mode here. The best part is he never has to really lose his temper to lose his temper – yes, that’s acting.
Other cast include: Dean Norris as Sgt. Lyle Haugsven, Radha Mitchell as Allie Halcombe, Jodie Lyn O’Keefe as Chelle Ringell, Katherine LaNasa as Fran Hansen, Matt Gerald as Ed Stauber, Gia Mantegna as Debbie Peters, Kurt Fuller as D.A. Pat Clives, Kevin Dunn as Lt. Bob Jent, Michael McGrady as Vice Det. John Gentile, and Brad Henke as Carl Galenski.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give THE FROZEN GROUND three tubs of popcorn out of five. This is an interesting look into a true story. The scenes are gray, gritty, disturbing and cold – just like the story itself. The meshing of actors and scenery brings more sadness into a mystery that lasted so long
There is a large cast here and they meld into the story so well. Everyone has a role in trying to catch a killer. It is the young woman Cindy and Trooper Halcombe that we see unravel the secrets in the middle of gruesome madness, we are only along for the ride.
In the end – the hunter becomes the hunted!
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