Winona (Hanna Oldenburg) is an artist looking to get away from it all this winter, for a couple of weeks anyway, so to that end persuades her manager to provide an isolated country house for her to stay in alone. She tells him she doesn't much want any contact from the outside world as she wishes to think over her work in peace and quiet, and being so close to the home town she left behind the young woman thinks this is precisely what she needs. But as she pulls up to the house in the snow, she wonders if she has made the right decision...
Not only because the place is a dump, but because, as she finds out later, she has more company there than she anticipated. This was a film that made it to cinemas after Swedish director Sonny Laguna had shot a straight to video effort the year before, and it was obvious on this evidence he had studied a great many classic horror movies of the seventies and eighties before he sat down to craft the screenplay for Blood Runs Cold with his co-writers. That was to say, he had the basics down pat, but the surrounding material was rather less accomplished.
For a slasher movie you couldn't have just one final girl - Winona (possibly named after a certain cult actress of twenty years before?) - so there had to be a selection of potential victims lining up as well. Actually there was one victim appearing before the opening credits, getting hacked up by our masked madman, though if you went in expecting some kind of backstory for the killer, then be prepared for disappointment as the longer this went on the less it felt the need for anything approaching extraneous details in its storytelling. Not that it went on especially long, that was - just over an hour.
So we began with the setting up of the plot, and then Laguna decided he didn't need quite so many bits and pieces cluttering up the movie so by its second half this was stripped down in the extreme, not quite a minimalist horror because he was happy to supply the gore with cheap and cheerful assurance. Just as well, as that first half was inferior with Winona heading out to a local bar when she starts feeling lonely, meeting up with three old friends including her ex-boyfriend Richard (Patrick Saxe) who still pines for her. She may have feelings for him too, but that goes for nothing in this atmosphere as you can imagine.
The other two friends are Carl (Andreas Rylander) and Liz (Elin Hugoson), more obvious slasher flick fodder, with Carl a particularly peculiar fellow, bravely sporting the beard and no moustache look and with a line in patter that is both crass and outright bizarre, often in the space of the same sentence. Once the expected sex scenes are out of the way, the killer can wield his axe and start chopping his way through the cast, all very conventional in this type of affair, but more interesting on a moviewatching level than what had gone before. There were a few points that marked it out of the ordinary: the way that the killer expels puffs of dust whenever anyone tries to give him a taste of his own medicine, or that long line of snot hanging from Winona's nose when she starts to cry. But really this was a film of two halves, the deadweight establishing and the professional on a low budget runaround. Music by Samir El Alaoui.
[The extras on the Region 2 DVD amount to one behind the scenes featurette and that's your lot. It did look freezing.]