Saturday, 15 August 2015

Arctic Outbreak/The Thaw review

Arctic Outbreak, or "the Thaw" (real name according to movie and Imdb, no idea why it's been renamed) is... Err.. Hmm. 
The first 40 minutes are bad. Really bad. A boring, preachy drek that insists on not showing you anything that's going on, and skips 2 days forwards over what could have been the most interesting part of the story. 
The second half is too filled with shiny cgi to actually be scary, and the "shock twist" is blatantly obvious if you bothered to stay through the first half. 

And yet.. I kinda like it. The second half is almost a psychological thriller, and even though it falls into some of the common disaster movie tropes (no one ever knows even basic first-aid), it also subverts several of them. 
You so seldom see people willing to take the difficult choices, willing to maim themselves to get rid of infection or sacrifice themselves to save others, and here most of the main characters do, they even react rationally and efficient in crisis situations. The action hero of the story is the most unlikely one, and she makes a choice in the end I've never seen a woman make on film before. 

Most of the actors give decent performances too, notable exception being Val Kilmer, who just couldn't be bothered. 

I just.. There's so much wrong, the editing is bad, the score is manipulative bleh, the movie has no idea if it wants to be a disaster movie, a gross-out horror, a psychological thriller or an environmentalism warning, and yet.. 

I think I like what this movie could have been. If the first half had focused on the 2 days we skipped over; showing the beginning of the infection and them slowly figuring things out, if they'd not had a cgi-budget and had to do everything with props, puppets and prosthetics, if the bug threat had been turned into an invisible horror instead of a overwhelming, always visible thing, and the whole "epidemic as scare that'll finally convince people of the reality of global warming" plot-line had been dropped.. 
There's some really good ideas in there, and good acting performances too, I just wish the final result was something I on good conscience could recommend to others (it's not). 

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