Cold Prey II DVD Review
Directed by Mats Stenberg
Written by Thomas Moldestad
2008, Region 1, 94 minutes, Not Rated
DVD released on April 23rd, 2013
Ingrid Bolso Berdal as Jannicke
Marthe Snorresdotter Rovik as Camilla
Kim Wifladt as Ole
Johanna Morck as Audhild
Fridtjov Saheim as Herman
Mats Eldoen as Sverre
Robert Follin as Geir Olav Brath
In Cold Prey (2006) a group of friends on a snowboarding vacation in Norway are forced to take shelter in an abandoned mountaintop hotel. Unfortunately they are not alone, since an unseen maniac lurks in the shadows and begins killing these trespassers one by one. Following the traditional slasher movie formula, it all comes down to the resourcefulness of the “final girl”, in this case Jannicke, a woman with a strong survival instinct. Cold Prey II (2008) begins moments after the original ends and never lets up as our heroine is taken to a rural hospital. She tells the police of her ordeal and they immediately investigate, retrieving the bodies of her friends and the man responsible for their deaths. They are all brought to the morgue, but not everyone stays there. Soon, the staff, the patients and local police encounter the nightmarish mountain man as he cuts a path back to Jannicke to finish what he started.
There really isn’t a whole lot of plot getting in the way of the story here, since this is more a continuation of the original tale, bearing many elements familiar to fans of Halloween II (1981). In a nicely presented subplot, the sheriff follows a clue that leads him to a cold case file where he uncovers a bit of backstory on the killer. The information is revealed gradually without bogging things down or explaining away the mystery of what makes something scary. Ingrid Bolso Berdal (Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters) returns as Jannicke, now forced to fight not only for her own life but for a new circle of impromptu friends.
I recommend viewers pair these films into a double feature as they are nicely inter-connected, with the sequel revisiting many key plot points of the original. There are many familiar faces and locations shared between the two; some are subtle and may be missed. One nice touch includes the sequence when Jannicke is asked to identify the bodies of her friends and the original cast reunites for a brief moment. What could have been a throwaway scene is elevated by this simple inclusion of actor cameos.
First-time director Mats Stenberg really delivers with a strongly paced film that builds some decent suspense before breaking out the traditional horror tropes. Writer Thomas Moldestad wisely takes the time to develop his characters into more than flat stereotypes of the genre and Stenberg milks the quiet moments for all the dread he can. In addition, there are some nice audio cues that boost standard scene transitions into minor scares on their own (i.e. the slamming of a door or the scream of a siren.)
Cold Prey II benefits by taking cues from its predecessor and incorporating familiar elements into new scenarios. Jannicke has been in this situation before, but audiences will eagerly watch to see how she will get out of danger this time. There is also a nice sense of closure as the third act comes full circle for an effective and satisfying conclusion to the series. Cold Prey III (2010) was a prequel set in the 1980s that has yet to be released domestically. While we continue to wait for this to be rectified, do yourself a favor and check out the first two films immediately!
Video and Audio:
Cold Prey II makes its long overdue domestic debut thanks to the always reliable folks at Shout! Factory. The film receives a nice presentation in the original 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio with strong detail given to the darker elements. Much of the action takes place within the shadows and black levels are solid. Colors and flesh tones appear natural and contrast levels are consistent without any bleeding or macro blocking apparent.
The film receives only a single 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround track, offered in the original Norwegian, with English subtitles provided for anyone in need. This is a nice track with a decent balance of music and effects tracks assisting some “chair-jumper” scares while keeping dialogue free from distortion. I applaud the decision to not force an English language dub on this release, as the one included for the original film was pretty crappy.
Shout! Factory usually offers as many supplements as possible, but what we get here is kind of a mixed bag.
First up, a collection of deleted scenes are presented for your consideration. Anyone having watched the film will undoubtedly recognize the material, since every one of these selections was included within the movie. I don’t know if this was a different cut of the film, but there is nothing obvious as to the reason for the moniker.
The only other special feature is the original theatrical trailer.
I had hoped for more, but who is to say Shout! Factory didn’t try. Maybe if they can secure distribution rights to Cold Prey III, a double-feature presentation will appear as a Scream Factory Blu-ray release, loaded with goodies.