FROST ** USA 2022 Dir: Brandon Slagle. 82 mins
It is odd or providential that I view this film while it was minus 20 with the wind chill and snowing outside. Winter has arrived in my region of Canada at least for a while. I wish that Frost (2022) warmed my heart only to find it so ludicrous that it should be burned for warmth if it was on old nitrate film stock.
Frost (2022) sells itself as a thriller/adventure film which it is neither. The picture is one long treatise on the horrors of parental reunion and solitary childbirth in a vehicle. It does begin promisingly enough with a reunion between Grant (Vernon Wells) and Abby (Devanny Pinn) the daughter he hasn’t spoken to in five years, returning to the family’s rural home in a very pregnant state. After the obligatory scene of the drinking father trying to summon memories and a tasteless comment regarding the origin of the baby’s father. The estranged family suddenly bonds over photographs mere microseconds from their blowup.
The next day they decide to further revisit the old days with a father-daughter fishing trip. This is where the story goes off the rails and becomes a ridiculous survival thriller. Grant and Abby swerve off the road and down an embankment trapping the two with a severe snowstorm on the way. Grant has no choice but to leave her and try to find help. We are now treated to the solitary screaming breathing performance of Abby (Devanny Pinn) trapped in a car at night and about the potential to give birth while injured Dad tries to walk out of the woods. Ignored is the fact that the couple fails to check weather reports when going on an excursion. Ignored also is their mode of dress which is all light clothing in a possible winter area.
Snow occurs in higher elevations yet why would one drive to the top of a mountain to fish unless it was ice fishing which would have made more sense? No person who lives in this style of area and is a woodsman as Grant claims to be as he ‘sells skins” to people to get by would not equip a vehicle without the basic emergency items such as first aid, extra food, flares etc. in case of break down. The two have walkie-talkies that they exchange inane dialogue with yet they cannot transmit, or would they go on an expedition without filing a plan with the local Ranger who would question them about their fishing license. These are basic details that are ignored at the expense of creating drama and there are many more.
I leave out the basics of cutting an umbilical cord after birth, and the failure to stop bleeding from the mother after childbirth. The best actor in the whole show is Shadow who plays the wolf who is horrid and misrepresented as a predator. Tacked on is an even dumber graphic ending that those of gore will perhaps enjoy.
Devanny Pinn gives a performance that is over the top full of screams and breathing coupled with dumb dialogue. Her name is also listed as executive producer. Frost (2022) looks like it was an expanded story from an anthology film which could have worked if it was cut to forty minutes with the real story beginning after the crash on the highway. The ending with the helicopter would have worked had this fit in the style of EC comics. Other than that, again you get treated to drone footage of the great outdoors which the film fails to exploit perhaps due to budget. Scrape the Frost (2022) off your windows and leave it at that.
Review by Terry Sherwood