“Cold Prey 2: Resurrection” (2008) Directed by Mats Stenberg. Starring Ingrid Bolso Berdal, Marthe Snorresdotter Rovik, Kim Arne Hagen. Jannicke survived the last movie, only to find herself stuck in a hospital, with the crazy killer that she thought she killed coming back to finish her off. Gotta respect dedication like that.
Jannicke, the female survivor of a ski lodge massacre, recovers at a local hospital as police check out her story. Meanwhile, the maniacal killer she thought she defeated rises again to wreak more bloody havoc. Noooooo!
In the original 2006 Norwegian film “Fritt Vilt” aka “Cold Prey,” a group of friends went snowboarding in the Jotunheimen mountains until one of their number broke his leg. They took shelter in an abandoned ski lodge hotel to wait out a massive blizzard, only to find themselves being stalked and killed by a mountain man whom has been living in the lodge since the 1970s.
Jannicke alone fought and defeated him, sending his body hurtling down into a crack into the mountain’s icy surface. Spoilers!
Welcome to Otta Hospital, which is about to be shut down, in a tiny town at the base of the snowy mountain ascended in the original film. It is staffed by a skeleton crew tending to the few remaining patients. Here we meet Camilla, a kindhearted doctor who is dating Ole, a police officer who runs errands up and down the mountain. Rounding out the group is Herman, a bearded doctor, and the cute blonde nurse Audhild.
While checking out a missing car belonging to the victims, Ole discovers Jannicke in the middle of a mountain road, traumatized and carrying the killer’s pick axe. He hurries her back to the hospital and brings the police in, whom don’t believe a word of Jannicke’s story of a murderous “abominable snowman.” The cops leave Officer Sverre behind at the hospital to guard the strange woman, and then gamely travel via snow vehicles several miles up the Jotunheimen and discover an icy fjord full of bodies.
They pull up the dead and pack them into a huge snow tank bound for Otta.
Despite furious winds and your typical monstrous blizzard, Officers Johan and Kim are left on the mountain to cordon off the crime scene and explore the hotel. Lucky them.
With the medical examiner and other police resources unavailable, the four victims and the hulking killer are stored in Otta Hospital’s morgue overnight. After seeing the psychotic monster sans his wrappings, Police Chief Einar thinks there’s a connection between a 1975 missing child case and the frost coated killer.
As we know from the original film, the lost child IS the present day killer.
Audhild is given the unenviable task of removing all jewelry and clothing from the bodies, and Jannicke makes a friend in young patient Daniel.
Meanwhile, Camilla thinks it might be a good idea to lead the already fatigued and psychologically damaged Jannicke down to the morgue to visit the slaughtered corpses of her friends and the body of the man who brought her so much pain. Who does that!?
Jannicke communes with her dead comrades and then attacks the body of their murderer. Afterwards, Herman chews Camilla out for doing something so ghoulish and gives her sedatives to administer to Jannicke.
But Camilla has a strange gut instinct and pockets the drugs instead.
Einar begins flipping through the alarmingly long list of missing skiers, tourists and snowboarders who never returned from the mountain. They were always assumed to be accidents. He orders Kim over the radio to probe deeper into the glacier crack, where Officer Johan finds hidden passages containing many more bodies. Frozen hands and booted feet jut out from slick blue walls of curved ice. The images are beautiful and chilling.
Down in the hospital morgue, Audhild begins removing the killer’s clothing and makes a very scary discovery: He isn’t really dead. She flees the morgue, screaming in terror. Jannicke hears alarms go off and ventures out of her room to find the medical staff using defibrillator paddles to bring the savage murderer of her pals back from the brink of death.
Her scream of outrage is completely silent and eerie.
After beating up a cop standing between her and the body, Jannicke is sedated and put back in bed. To my pleasant surprise, the bloodied officer wisely handcuffs the killer’s motionless arm to the bed rail. It’s a rare wise move in a genre packed with bad choices.
Watching “Cold Prey 2,” I pondered the lengthy history of Hospital Horror. In 1981 Michael Myers stalked the darkened halls of Haddonfield General Hospital and that same year, Barbi Benton evaded her crazed surgeon pursuer in “Hospital Massacre.” A year later Michael Ironside redefined evil as homicidal janitor Colt Hawker in the realistic, visceral “Visiting Hours.” There have been a few recent examples, like “See No Evil 2,” which was set at a hospital morgue and had virtually the same after-the-massacre story, minus both the survivor and the quality.
Our lives are in the hands of strangers when we’re patients, and that feeling of having our control taken away is a cornerstone of the horror genre. Plus, hospitals smell weird.
So are we to wait for hours on end for our mountain man to rise up and start the carnage? At the 38 minute mark it happens with a stunning, out of nowhere kill scene that couldn’t have been more brilliantly edited. Lovely practical gore, too. Turns out that bed rail handcuff didn’t help after all. The hospital is quickly plunged into darkness as our buddy finds a brand new pick axe in the hospital’s bad weather supply bucket.
Jannicke finally wakes up to find herself tied to her bed after a startling dream sequence in which she is being pick axed in the stomach. Camilla, meanwhile, notices the sudden dwindling of staff members at an already understaffed institution. Herman decides to go down to the shadowy labyrinth of a basement to check on the power outage.
Good luck, Dr. Doomed!
Police Chief Einar tracks down a member of a search party who went looking for the missing boy in 1975. The man reveals a frightening piece of information about the freakish circumstances surrounding the child’s birth that begins to make Einar embrace beliefs beyond his everyday cop sensibilities.
Now freed from her restraints, but loopy from the sedatives, Jannicke plays cat and mouse in the corridors after assuring the safety of Daniel. And there’s a funny, almost meta scene where the killer holds up his fancy new pick axe and the identical weapon from the first film, as if to compare which is better; sequel or original?
Einar, Ole, Johan and the rest of the police raid the hospital with their guns and macho-ness. It goes horrifically wrong as they find themselves up against a target whom has been hunting and trapping his whole life.
Eventually, Jannicke is left with a choice: leave the scene and continue on with her shattered life, or destroy the evil that took so many lives already.
She goes with Option B.
After all this stylishly shot suspense and terror, you’re probably going to expect a lot from the climactic fight between The Big Bad and Final Girl. You won’t be disappointed. It’s a gritty, violent, mythic showdown.
So what are we looking at in terms of kills?
- Death by surgical tools.
- Death by fire extinguisher.
- Death by very unorthodox neck snapping.
- A non-fatal but scary stabbing with huge syringe.
- Death by booby trap.
- Death by stabbing.
- Death by pick axe, the second best kill.
- Death by pick axe, the best kill.