Zombie Movie Review: Dead Snow

aka ‘Død snø’

This film is showing on Netflix Instant US. Visit Blog of the Living Dead for details

Vector image from the zombie movie Dead Snow

Nazi zombies form one of the greatest horror combinations. However, unlike the greatest films in that mini genre – namely Zombie Lake and Shockwaves – these are strictly above-water dwellers. Actually they live in the snow, which I suppose could be considered underwater, depending on how you look at it.

Unfortunately, a lack of underwater activities is not the only thing missing in this zombie horror. There is very little horror involved as soon as the zombies turn up half way through this snow-filled Norwegian number. Up until that point it was actually doing a decent job of building up the scares, albeit in an ‘homage’ (byh that I mean highly unoriginal and cliché) manner.

Some kids have decided to holiday in an old shack out in the middle of a forest miles from any civilisation. Half of them are couples, but they have brought an oddball movie geek and horny girl with them for good measure. So far, so familiar. At least all the snow gives then all something different to do, such as being towed around in a rubber ring by a snowmobile. All is going well (apart from one of their number not having turned up, but she’ll surely arrive soon, right?) until a strange ‘local’  man turns up on the door asking for a coffee. (Lets just call him Crazy Ralph, eh?) Where he has come from is anyones guess, as there is nowhere local for miles. He regales the kids with some story about Nazis who used to live around here in the war and then he pootles off to go camping out in the snow somewhere. The kids get back to their business of drinking and playing with a mysterious crate of Nazi gold that they have discovered in the cabin… Oh yes, stealing gold from a baddy you’ve only just been warned about by can never cause any issues. Um, have these kids never seen The Leprechaun films?

Anyway, it is at around this point that all the horror and tension that had been – surprisingly quite sucessfully – building up is instantly drained away, as that is when the Zombies turn up.

It is now that the film decides, for some unknown reason, to change from a horror movie into a farcical comedy. Zombies chase people who hide up trees. Someone get their testicles cut off. Idiot survivors accidently set fire to a building they are actually holed up in, sheesh, the stupid moments never cease.

If this still sounds like a horror then take this fact into account: All of this happens out in the open during the daylight. It’s amazing how unscary a horde or zombies can be when you can see them coming for miles in the snow. This is a shame, because the zombies look great, and there are some awesome gore effects going on too.

If I had known that it would have been played for laughs then maybe I would have gone into the film with a different view, but I doubt it. The whole first 45 minutes are played as straight horror, so when it switches into comedy I just wasn’t prepared. I was already in the horror zone. I love my horror. I love my comedy. I even love horror-comedies, but not when they’re flipping between the two at such random intervals. Maybe it will be different next time I watch it, as I will know what to expect. And the fact that I do want to see it again must show that it was worth watching, but it could have been so much better.

Gore Score B
Norks Score F
Originality Score D
Overall Score C-

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5 responses to “Zombie Movie Review: Dead Snow

  1. I felt exactly the same after watching DS for the first time. It kind of felt like the producers had suddenly decided to make it a comedy instead of a horror movie.

    I returned to it maybe less than a year later, and when I knew what to expect, the movie rocked. Putting down a nazi zombie with a hammer and sickle combo? Pure awesome in my mind.

    All in all a good review and a very good assessment of the film’s flaws and strengths, thanks!

  2. Yes, I’ll certainly give it another go. It’s the only film I can think of that I knew while watching it that I’d probably like it the next time is see it, just not right now.

  3. I had a totally different reaction to this movie, but maybe because I was expecting tongue-in-cheek horror to begin with. Can you ever really take Nazi zombies seriously? (hilarious that you dock the movie for not having the zombies come out of water). I liked this movie a lot, I thought that it was good zombie fun.
    Can I also mention that it contains a woman who decides to seduce a guy while he’s taking a crap in an outhouse. There’s no aphrodisiac like an unwiped ass and the smell of feces.

    • I really should give this another watch. I think I was just surprisingly enjoying the cabin-in-the-woods horror feel of the first half of the film that it completley took my by surprise when it switched from horror to comedy.

  4. Pingback: Feature: Is 28 Days Later a Zombie Movie? | Devouring the Zombie Films of the Living

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