105 Min | History – Crime – Biography | November 2013
IMDB Rating: 6.2
Director: Scott Walker
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Vanessa Hudgens, John Cusack
The Frozen Ground Review: This film, written and directed by Scott Walker, is based on actual events that took place in Anchorage, Alaska, in 1983 and also covering a number of previous years. At first I thought The Frozen Ground was not covering any new ground and was rather plodding in its’ pacing. However, as tension built in the final 30 minutes of the film, I thought that things really picked up and that the plot pieces fell nicely into place.Two fine actors John Cusack and Nicolas Cage are the headliners here in the type roles they can excel at.
We learn early on in The Frozen Ground that Cusack, as Robert C. Hansen, is a psycho serial killer, who lures young women by offering them lucrative photo shoots. He then kidnaps, tortures, rapes, and finally kills them. When a body of a woman is uncovered in the Alaskan wild, which had been dug up by a bear, Cage, as Alaskan State Trooper Sergeant Jack Halcombe, is called in to head up the investigation. He quickly discovers that there is a connection between this woman and many missing women over the past years from Anchorage. When a conscientious local Anchorage police officer sends him several case files surreptitiously, Sgt Halcombe also concludes the local police have either completely dropped the ball on a proper investigation of the disappearing women or they’re covering something up.
Sgt. Halcombe also finds out there is a recent survivor of a kidnapping and rape which meets the M.O. of the previous attacks. This is Cindy Paulson, ably played by Vanessa Hudgens, who’s a young prostitute that has come from an abusive home and has been on the streets since she was 11 years old. She’s extremely fearful and skittish though and refuses to go into protective custody. As all signs point to Hansen as the serial rapist and killer, Sgt. Halcombe must try and find enough evidence to get a reluctant District Attorney and local police force to close in on him. At the same time, he has to try and keep Cindy alive as a witness. As mentioned, after a slow start and formulaic plot elements, I thought The Frozen Ground ended up as a rather engaging and absorbing flick. The actual photos of many of the victims at the end of the film added realism and gave it a more humanistic touch.
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