Blood Snow DVD Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 6.0
Video 7.5
Audio 7.5
Special Features   0.0
Total 6.0
Distributor: Ovation
Running Time: 90
Classification:
 M15+
Reviewer: Simon Black

6.0


Blood Snow

In 1846, so Wikipedia informs me, 87 Eastern pioneers known collectively as the Donner Party set out for California.  Befallen by a series of mishaps and short on supplies, the group was forced to endure a hideous snowbound winter in the Sierra Nevada.  The situation grew so dire that certain of the group were forced to eat several of the tastier, less robust members in order to survive.  Only 48 of the party ever made it to California, presumably under the caveat that they gloss over the cannibalism in their retellings of the event.   

Enter Blood Snow (known in the States by the arguably less evocative title Necrosis), the fourth outing from independent US filmmaker Jason Stephens.  The year is 2009, men no longer wear beards the size of badgers and the phrase ‘by jeezums’ is heard with markedly less regularity.  What hasn’t changed however is the propensity for groups of people to become snowbound in cabins high up in the Sierra Nevada. 

Stephens has assembled an eccentric ensemble cast that upon first glance shouldn’t actually work.  Vying for screen time are James Kyson Lee, better known as Hiro’s friend on TV’s Heroes, George Stults (from schmaltzy drama 7th Heaven), ‘indie scream queen’ Danielle De Luca (Naked Fear) and B-movie veteran Michael Berryman.  Somehow it all comes together, and as the bodies pile up and the ghosts of the Donner dead start to get really vicious Blood Snow shapes up into a pretty efficient thriller. 

Short on historical accuracy and big budget special effects (think sausages for innards), the film nonetheless proves a competent and cleverly shot horror flick.  Tiffany fans will also likely approve of the use of ‘Winter’s Over’ during the end credits. 

Audio

Jonathan Price’s score pulls out all the horror stops; jagged keyboard arpeggios, moody strings, spooky little kid voices, etc.  Much like the screenplay itself it can get a little corny at times, but it gets the job done.  The two-channel audio is surprisingly robust and proves quite effective.

Video

A nice clear 16:9 anamorphically enhanced widescreen transfer, with no grain or defects to speak of. 

Special Features

The Ovation edition is bare bones.  The Region 1 disc contains a Director’s Commentary, trailer and BTS featurette.  And a 5.1 soundtrack, incidentally. 

Summary

Essentially The Shining meets Dead Snow without the redeeming presence of either Jack Nicolson or a horde of undead National Socialist zombies, Blood Snow still manages to hold its own.  It’s a very American film; few outside the US would recall the Donner expedition of 1846, or, for that matter, the music of Tiffany.  Thankfully however the film’s central themes of paranoia, psychological fragility and bloodthirsty cannibal ghosts are universal.






 
 



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