Sunday, February 7, 2010

Posted by cendol

The Thaw is a realistic horror film that seems especially relevant in these turbulent times. I like my horror films to be pertinent and socially conscious, and The Thaw fit the bill perfectly. Of course, even those that prefer blood and guts over social commentary will also be pleasantly surprised by the tension-filled The Thaw.

In addition to the relevant story, the pacing of the film is very fast. From the opening scenes of a nasty bug extraction to Dr. Kruipen’s videotaped confessions to a grisly scene of amputation and the nasty bug infestations, my eyes were glued to the screen for the entire running time. The action was tense, and except for a few poor decisions by the characters, everything felt very realistic. The characters were also refreshing and didn’t feature the usual dumb teens. Evelyn was a wonderful final girl who took charge almost immediately and seemed to have more common sense and scientific knowledge than the students. The students were a bit grating at times, but overall their characters’ reactions felt realistic…even if some of their decisions were poor.

As for the actors, most of them did a commendable job, especially Martha MacIsaac as Evelyn. She came off as a spoiled brat in the beginning, but really showed some intense leadership skills as the film progressed. I also have to point out Viv Leacock, who played Bart the helicopter pilot, for his even and brave portrayal…even during and after a nasty amputation. Val Kilmer must also be mentioned here, even if he was only in a third of the film. He played the Doctor very convincingly, with an eerie, unsettling calmness that really forewarned of the calamity that would follow in his wake.

The special effects were the real standouts of the film, though. From the parasites burrowing and squirming into flesh to the mushy egg sacs to the freshly-hatched young devouring their hosts and so on, I was left with the heebie jeebies! Nothing is completely over-the-top, but the gruesome scenes carry with them a sense of reality, like something is possible and could happen…if we aren’t careful. The film reminded me of a mix of Cabin Fever, The Ruins (review) and The Last Winter (review).

The Thaw is a film that creeps under your skin and squirms there, tickling your mind with its social conscious stance as well as its gruesome set pieces. It reminds us that Mother Nature can only take so much before she reveals her most shocking secrets to us…secrets that could spell humanity’s demise



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