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  Cold Prey II White Winter Horrible
Year: 2008
Director: Mats Stenberg
Stars: Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, Marthe Snorresdotter Rovik, Mats Eldøen, Kim Wifladt, Robert Follin, Fridtjov Såheim, Johanna Mørck, Per Schaaning, Vetle Qvenild Werring, Mads Sjøgård Pettersen, Inger Johanne Ravn, Andreas Cappelen, Bernhard Ramstadt
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Camilla (Marthe Snorresdotter Rovik) is a doctor at a remote Norwegian hospital that is on the verge of being closed down and actually only has two patients remaining, a little boy and a senile elderly lady. Camilla has just accepted a job in Oslo, but doesn't know how she will break the news to her great outdoors-loving boyfriend, so ends up blurting it out to him today. Before he has a chance to respond, he gets a message telling him to check out an abandoned car and off he goes, not realising what he will be bringing back with him...

The first Cold Prey was such a success in Europe that it was natural a sequel be ordered, and much in the manner of Halloween spawning the hospital-based, later that day Halloween II, that film produced something similar in Cold Prey II, or Fritt Vilt II if you were Norwegian. Original director Roar Ulthag only got a story credit on this one, as the reins were handed over to Mats Stenberg who did a pretty good approximation of his style, making this a smooth transition from part one - you could easily stick these together for one epic, three hour slasher.

As before, the script finds quite some affection for its characters even though it's planning to kill most of them off, but our final girl from the last one, Jannicke (Ingrid Bolsø Berdal), has to be put through yet more tortures although at least this time she doesn't have to see any of her friends die, that having already happened. Unfortunately for her, the killer is discovered by the police in that crevasse along with the other bodies and taken back to the hospital where, wouldn't you know it, the medical staff find he is still breathing.

So being doctors they have to save their patient, and revive him from his hypothermia, something they immediately regret for obvious reasons. This time around the chills, literal in this case, are less centred around the gloriously freezing landscape and more to do with the claustrophobic environment inside of the hospital, which as it it barely populated makes it all the more spooky. Add to that the fact that the killer has put the lights out with his pickaxe and the dim emergency lighting is now all that illuminates the cast, and you have a nicely oppressive atmosphere going.

More than ever with this sequel, it feels like a series entry, especially with its aiming for an iconic villain who has physical quirks to make him stand out: the balaclava to conceal his features, the aforementioned pickaxe, the birthmark over one eye, and so on. This could easily have been part six or ten rather than part two, that's how established it comes across as, but that's not to denigrate it, Cold Prey II delivers precisely what it sets out to do, that is offer some thrills for an hour and a half with little in the way of messing around with too much superfluous business. And in its favour, it's all fairly fresh, perhaps because of its origin, and perhaps because it motors along capably without getting distracted: no comic relief, no timewasting romance, just suspense and action. Music by Magnus Beite.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


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