film reel image

film reel image

Saturday, January 13, 2024

Snowbound 2017 * 1/2 Stars


2017's Snowbound is definitely about the snow, what with all the overhead shots and caps of an icy, wintry wonderland. Too bad the film is also about being a lousy version of Saw, where people awaken in an unknown area and don't know how they got there. Oh and some evil dude is involving said people in a deadly game of survival. Snowbound's opening scene, well it's a revealing doozy. The main characters are naked, lying in frozen water vapor after being drugged and knocked out for the entire night. Director Olia Operina obviously didn't think things through however. I mean everyone would've been dead from some form of hypothermia, guaranteed. 

Distributed by Lighthouse Home Entertainment, having a coda that runs out of wiggle room, and containing a lot of pretentious, thriller mumbo jumbo, Snowbound establishes tension early on only to have it dissipate into momentum-free flashbacks and bad acting from a villain that's got a real hard on for voodoo dolls. Helmer Operina, well she puts her personas in a cabin via the middle of nowhere. They don't know each other from Adam and find a dead girl (also naked) upstairs. They must figure out who killed her and kill one of each other or they'll all be killed. Uh, was Tobin Bell in on the production meetings? 

In retrospect, Snowbound has a decent look but it's obviously low budgeted. I mean it's evident in the sparse set locations, the casting of unknown actors, and the lack of blood and butchery. Olia Operina could've taken these constraints and left you with your knees knocking but I digress. She isn't interested in creeping you out or baiting the suspense out of you. No Olia would rather take Snowbound and make it assertively avant garde and/or something art house. Um, only Stanley Kubrick was able to pull that off with Jack Nicholson sweetie. "Snow blind". 

Written by Jesse Burleson

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