Thursday, August 18, 2011

Norwegian Horror Spotlight: Fritt Vilt 3

Alright. It's time to finish this thing off. Fritt Vilt 3 is, strictly speaking not a sequel, but a prequel Yes, that's right, we're going to the prequel well already at the third part of this thing. You can say a lot of of things about Fritt Vilt, but the concept didn't really need further elaboration or discovery. Now, I saw a preview screening of this, and I didn't really like it, which I suppose is understandable, since the rough first-draft workprint of any movie is bound to be unpolished. Let's see how it's improved.

So, for the story. Our heroes are, yet again, college-age kids, except it's the 80's now, oh joy, the 80's. Anyway, the kids seek out the hotel from the first movie, at this point infamous for the disappearance of a young boy and, shortly thereafter, his parents. Of course, this, like many other things in this movie, doesn't go anywhere, as they strike up camp somewhere away from the hotel, and get kidnapped, killed and in general mistreated by our friend, the Cold Prey Killer, striking some sort of wibbly balance between being a tragic manchild monster and a regular thrill kill monster.
Pictured: Our Antagonist. Scary fellow, isn't he?

Hoh yes, this is one of those prequels, ladies and gentlemen. The movie quite shamelessly tries to win our sympathy for the killer by giving him an over-the top abusive father. I mean, seriously, I tried to sort out the heads and tails of the logic behind the father's actions, but the only reason I can see him acting as he did was because the screenwriters needed him to be, and writing a descent into darkness is hard. That's another thing. One has to wonder exactly where the filmmakers wants the character, if it can be called that, of the Cold Prey  Killer to go. To Wit, in this movie, is he a victim continuing to strike back after his abusers are dead, or is he a  potentially preternatural devil-child who does what he does for the giggles of it? The inconsistencies seem to be pretty large, but it's possible I'm overthinking this. Wouldn't be the first time.

Group Shot!

Anyway, our main cast. I don't really know what to say about these people, except that they annoy me. They all talk in a way that may have seemed typical of the 80's, as a 90's child, I wouldn't know, but to me only makes them sound like tremendous douchebags. Also, the somewhat stilted and unnatural-feeling dialog and delivery doesn't really help. The characters are given precious little depth, and they don't really emote all that well until they start being scared, running for their lives and the like. For what it's worth, there's a good bit of running and screaming in this movie, though.

Also, this movie has a nasty habit of setting up things that ends up having no significance whatsoever. For example, it's revealed that one of the characters is packing an AG-3. Nothing inherently wrong with packing something with automatic fire capabilities in your horror movie, perhaps an odd choice when it's a given that your killer has to survive, but hey. Of course, that's assuming the gun has any impact on the plot at all. You see, except for painting the guy carrying it as a complete nutcase, and his friends surprisingly cool with the possible sociopath packing heat, the gun literally does nothing. The guy owning it gets killed off-screen, one assumes because choreographing a kill with two armed opponents was too hard, and the thing was never brought up again.
I call it Vera

A perhaps more grievous unfired Chekov's Gun is that of one character, a doey-eyed blonde who gets captured by the killer and kept locked up by his mentor-ish hillbilly friend. You see, our blonde friend survives a lot of shit, including multiple failed escape attempts, what seems to be attempted rape, and of course being locked up by a guy who could easily have played a part in Deliverance. Her fate? Finally freed for about a minute before being shanked. First time I saw this movie, I thought it felt rather pointless, although I by now realize she served a role in the plot, a very flimsy role, yes, a role that, strictly speaking wasn't necessary, but a role. Still, it doesn't sit right with me. The whole thing seems... exploitative, even for a slasher.

For all it's flaws, though, there's one bit of this movie I did not dislike. Sure, it's pretty much only this bit, since this movie at almost 100 minutes felt unbearably long  for several reasons, but still. The ending is actually kind of clever in how it wraps it all up without letting the story of the killer loose upon the world, which would make some continuity issues at best and make the first two movies utterly nonsensical at worst. That said, while I can actually recommend the first movie of this series for a good, cheesy slashfest, the second one did not improve, and by the third one, the quality degradation seriously started to show. You may have noticed that I haven't talked about the scares, and the reason why is that they're pretty much nonexistent. A few jumpscares and jumpscare fake-outs at first, and then pretty much nothing. Sure, there's danger, but no real horror, yet another sign that the creative minds behind this might need to call it a day soon.

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