Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Jack Frost Review
Jack Frost is a 1996 horror film with an interesting holiday twist. The movie is laughable on a lot of levels, but there are some seriously creepy moments that still make this one a holiday treat, even if you have to reach very far in your depths of understanding to like it. It’s a hard film to like, simply because it’s so outlandish at times, and while Jack Frost isn’t going to win any major awards, it’s still part of the Holiday Horror theme we’re going for this winter.
Jack Frost starts off simple enough, a killer is being transported in a special truck a week before Christmas. The truck gets into a terrible accident and genetic or radioactive material hits Jack (our villain) and he melts, melts into snow! Jack turns into a snowman and vows revenge on the Sheriff that captured him.
The premise lends itself well to a Marvel Comics Origin story, not a traditional horror film. The movie tries to take itself seriously, especially with the paranoia of the victims, moments before they are going to be killed by the snow man. The victims are killed in a variety of funny ways, and the mood reflects that, making this film more funny than scary, and that’s nothing new to the theme at hand.
As I thought more about this film, the more the movie really broke down for me. Yes, this is a horror film, and yes it’s a slasher film, but I don’t believe that anything about this film was meant to be taken seriously at all. The kills in this film are all done in a hilarious manner, the camera angles are sloppy, and the one liners are stupid to say the least.
Jack Frost can be scary for kids, but in regards to horror films it’s on the low end of the horror spectrum. I don’t mind horror comedy, and I give a lot of films a fair chance, but this is in the bin of sci-fi original television movies as a terrible example of what could an interesting premise. The whole Jack Frost story might lend itself well to a comic book, where you can exaggerate all the drawings, but this film doesn’t really work.
For instance, the snow man kills in doors where you presume that the temperature is hot. Wouldn’t the snow man melt? Furthermore, he even puts on a scarf midway through the film, once again you must consider the melting factor. The melting factor aside, this film really tries to mix comedy and seriousness, but fails on a lot of levels.
The third act really tries to pick things up as the towns people try to fight back and really give it a go, as they all realize what’s going on, and throw away their disbelief long enough to fight off the unlikely monster. They trap the snowman in a jailhouse, fill it with flammable aerosol material, then shoot a bullet into the gas soaked place, causing a huge explosion! But does it kill him forever? Watch the film, it’s the best part of the film, if you can make it that far.
I have one major complaint. The movie teases you with what will be a sex scene, and it doesn’t happen. Then the film teases you with full frontal nudity! The gratuitous full bare breasts are coming! But nope, even in a full bath tub, with no clothes on, we see nothing but arms and legs, no boobs, no nothing. This is a staple of horror! The scene ends with a hilarious kill that makes no sense at all, and we’ll just leave it at that. Oh well.
I found that the revenge plot of this film is an interesting take, but a killer snow man? No not the Abominable Snowman which is more of a Sasquatch-like entity, we’re talking about a man made of snow, or a snow-man made of the spirit of a dead man. Whatever the case is, Jack Frost is a terrible romp through serial killing, slasher film. I’m sorry I saw this one, as it makes Santa’s Slay look like The Godfather. As a comedy this film is great, as a made for television sci-fi movie it works well too, as a major studio or even straight to dvd horror movie attempt, it falls flat and secures a place in my horror movie hall of shame. It’s worth watching for the hilarity, and nothing more. So take Jack Frost with a grain of salt, and enjoy comedy horror at its best, but don’t expect a whole lot. It does answer the inconsistencies aforementioned in this review, although not exactly in the greatest format, but oh well. It is what it is.
Bonus commentary: The movie spawned a sequel. Jack Frost 2! Another ill fated movie with a serious problem in the credibility factor. Also, in 1998 a movie called “Jack Frost” was made where a man turns into a snowman and befriends a small boy, creating a real comedy after the idea of a man turning into a snow man. That film starred Michael Keaton, of all people, and was one of the worst comedic films of 1998. So maybe there’s something to the snow man thing, but if you’re really into the mythos of a “snow man” maybe consider watching “Abominable” a much better take on the idea of the Abominable Snow man, eve if it is a rip off of a Hitchcock Film.
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