On our recent ski trip to Mount Tremblant, Mike brought up this film while we were at the bar. He gave me the general premise and told me that it was definitely worth my while to look into. At the time, I was intrigued but the next day while riding the chairlift, my fear of heights took hold and any time the chairlift stopped I was convinced we were stuck there for the rest of eternity. I was about ready to take off my glove and give Mike an icy cold slap in the face but figured I should keep all of my layers on in case we were actually stuck. Needless to say, I survived and now a month later I finally sat down to watch it.
Going into it, my mind was riddled with all of the plot holes that this film was going to have and how the next hour and a half would demonstrate exactly what is wrong with thrillers these days. Despite my reservations, I carried on and discovered that the creative minds behind this project actually had a brain.
The story follows three college students who travel to a small mountain in New England to get away from the stress and pressure of college life. In an attempt to save money (as a college student I can certainly identify with this sentiment) the trio bribes one of the chairlift operators in order to avoid having to buy overpriced lift tickets. As the day of riding comes to a close, the friends beg for one last run down the mountain but get more than they bargained for when they find themselves trapped.
What follows is a poignant analysis of how the human mind deals with extraordinary circumstances. Initially, there are feelings of denial as they try to remain calm and stay positive about the situation. They quickly turn to accusations, as reality sets in and are finally engulfed with the unerring need to survive at all costs. These emotions are portrayed well by the young actors and as the story evolves you find yourself highly involved in the characters' survival.
While it will not "do for skiing what Jaws did for swimming", it is a clever and tense thriller that accurately explores the humanity of survival. It's currently available on Netflix instant so if you have some time, check it out.
Overall Grade: B