Sunday, July 31, 2011

Norwegian Horror Spotlight: Fritt Vilt 2

Next up in the Fritt Vilt (Cold Prey) trilogy, another one of those horror trilogies that only in the loosest possible sense can be called a trilogy, a rant for another day, is Fritt Vilt 2. This one follows pretty closely to the second one, and the main mission seems to be expanding on the incredibly deep Masked Ice Pick Killer mythos from Fritt Vilt 1. I'm not sure if this is a sequel that needs to be, but well, re-watching the original did lead to a surprisingly positive review, so who knows, maybe it's a repeatable success.
This is seldom the start of anything good.

Fritt Vilt 2 follows up on Fritt Vilt 1, obviously, where the shell-shocked survivor of the original stumbles into town, earning her a stay in the hospital that's a few days from shutting down, inhabited only by a bare minimum of staff, an elderly lady and a sorta creepy mature-beyond-his-words kid. Yeah, I can't see this going horribly wrong at all. Anyway, the local police recover the victims of the original movie together with the killer, who, surprising nobody, recovers from this whole "being dead" business and quickly expands his franchise of recreational murder. The fuzz proves to be inadequate for dealing with a lone mountain man armed only with melee weapons, and once again it's up to our tomboyish heroine to save the day.
You'd think this guy would be a plot element, but not quite.

The characterization in this movie isn't as strong as in the original, and it seems somewhat awkward or directionless at times, which might be just as well, considering most of the characters given much of it is killed relatively early, leaving only our heroine and Ms. Whatsherface for the final. On the topic of said survivor, she is, as I mentioned above, shell-shocked like all hell, but I feel it's overplayed a little bit. I'm no expert, but I get the impression that it's hammed a bit more than necessary, both in writing and acting, although she shapes up well in the end, which I guess is character development of a sort.
Ah, the road to recovery.

Now, on account of the killer, his backstory is expanded upon, but we're still not given much of a consequence to explain what he's about. The story clearly has some places it wishes to go, what with implying some supernatural, or possibly preternatural resistance to... well death, but it doesn't come together. Don't get me wrong, I don't have to have an answer, in fact, I'm perfectly content with not having one, but there's clearly an answer in the making in these films, but it seems to be so keen on preserving the mystery that it doesn't know what foot to stand on. Maybe I'm overreacting here, but the vagueness as to if there's anything supernatural or just someone stupidly resistant and some dodgy medical science is kind of getting to me.

When it comes to the kills, this movie doesn't bring much new, except possibly a piece of somewhat questionable logic. One of the victims gets knocked out with a fire extinguisher, and we think that's all from her. Until, that is, she wakes up in another room and gets to scream and squirm at the killer for about twenty seconds before getting bludgeoned to death with the extinguisher. Now this seems odd, since the killer, up until this point, did not seem to be of the sadistic kind. In fact, more times than not, he seemed to have a more practical outlook on the killing, like it was a 9-5 job but with more screaming. It seems inconsistent, 's all.
Kinda getting Irreversible flashbacks here.

Again, like the first one, this movie has one scene I really liked. Our heroine finds herself traveling through a dark hospital, encountering such sights as a bloody hand on the other side of the door, withdrawing back in the dark, general hospital creepiness... oh, and the killer rushing at her. Of course, at the reveal of the last bit there, we're greeted with a "it's just a dream" resolution, but it's still pretty cool, since it's dreamlike and creepy in a slightly Silent Hill-esque way before that. Of course, the scene doesn't do much, but it's a nice sneak peak into the protagonist's brain, and also, creepy as all hell.

No comment necessary.

Now, this movie isn't quite as good as the first one, I think, and the fall in characterization is probably the biggest problem, together with it, with one previously mentioned exception, not being very scary. It raised more questions than it answered, and although that's not in itself a bad thing, it does hint at a bit of an unfortunate trend. That said, I'm at least willing to give it points for having the hero actually doing a double tap of the vilain in the end, just in case, although some minus points for having the opportunity to do so without actually doing it earlier.

Thank you, godnight.

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