There isn’t a region in the States that parades the seasons in hyperbolic fashion like New England can. Winters indulge in finding all of the creative ways for frozen water to harm a person’s optimism or physical wellbeing. Our existences swelter during the summer from the unwelcome humidity. The spring yields an abundance of allergens that third-generation South Shore natives still have to dissolve their Claritins in their Marylou’s (based on a couple of accounts and not a verified generalization). And fall — well, fall is categorically the best season and we should all cherish it once that autumn breeze hits.
In any event, the common Masshole archetype may be partially owed to the fact that we are trying to surpass death by weather. Growing up in the Middlesex Valley, I find it a warm comfort to know that there are others who are still surviving around these parts (barely hanging on like those two-feet icicles that’ll pierce you through the Earth’s crust and straight to Lucifer’s living room floor, but hanging on). 2010’s ski-horror Frozen is exemplary of a contemporary New England tale, and it should come as no surprise that director/writer Adam Green hails from Holliston, which is about a ninety-minute drive southwest of Boston.
Sounding like a suburban legend one would hear at a Nashoba Valley high school, Frozen takes place at a fictional Mount Holliston (!!) ski resort where our three college-aged rascals decided to sneak in one last ski ride before it closes. While in mid-rise in the lift chair, the ski resort shuts down, mistaking another triplet set of snow-sport enthusiasts returning back to ground to be them. And of course, the ski resort closes early because of an impeding snow storm, unaware that our avid skiers — friends from childhood — are stranded. At frigid temperatures at a less-than-ideal height, these kids have to find a way to survive before the cold gets to them for good.
If it all reads as a exaggerated Massachusetts winter day, then maybeso.gif. But if you’re a recent transplant or forgot the winter of 2013, here’s a reminder that that there is something deeply primal about the outdoors being cold as fuck. For example, there are bodies strewn all over Mount Everest, immune to decomposition because of its literal freezer conditions. And because of the high mortality risk, there aren’t rescue teams to retrieve the bodies off, leaving hikers with rather eerie markers when climbing to the peak.
Frozen doesn’t get to that level of craziness; on the whole, it represents a more realistic version of human camaraderie in bad situations than it is of a worst-case survival scenario (though if you wish to look violence upon each other, go mess with space savers in Southie come winter). It’s a scaled version of a snowy caution that the wilderness, uninhibited, will fuck you up.
dir. Adam Green
Screens Monday 10/28, 7:30pm @Somerville Theater
Part of the continuing series: Julia Marchese’s All Killer, No Filler Halloween Hullabaloo!