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Cold Prey 3 – 6

Director – Mikkel Brænne Sandemose

Cast – Ida Marie Bakkerud, Kim S. Falck-Jørgensen, Pål Stokka, Julie Rusti, Arthur Berning, Sturla Rui, Endre Hellestveit

Release Year – 2010

Reviewed by John of the Dead

My search for good foreign slasher films lead me to the awesome Cold Prey a few years ago, and its even better sequel Cold Prey 2 continued the story, and now Cold Prey 3 is the newest addition to this Norwegian slasher series. Once again we are given the same overall storyline, but as with most latter sequels this one delves more into how the horror began. While the horror is good overall and we are given some good kills, Cold Prey 3 is definitely the lesser of the three films, and fails to live up to its predecessors in only amounting to a decent film in the end.

Set in the 1980s, we follow a group of friends camping by an abandoned hotel with a haunting past that they are fully aware of. What they expect to be a weekend of fun and good spooks turns into a sheer frightfest when the child who went missing 12 years later returns and continues the murderous onslaught he started over a decade prior.

Whenever a sequel enters the series it seems the writers find it hard to continue the same storyline over and over again, and that is when prequel storylines come about. I admit that I was pretty curious about what lead to the killer’s rampages that we witnessed in both Cold Prey and Cold Prey 2, and Cold Prey 3 seems to have answered the simplest of my questions regarding the killer’s origin, and thankfully it gave us a look into his first kills – kills that showed his knack for blood and sharp instruments. Unfortunately we are only given a short glimpse of what lead to the killer’s current hatred for visiting skiers/mountaineers, and after the first 10 minutes or so we are given the events that occurred 12 years later when the group of friends arrived by the old hotel. The rest of the film focuses on their feeble attempts to escape his wrath as he slowly kills them off, first unsuspectedly, and then when pure chaos ensues when each of the remaining friends knows of the danger surrounding them. We are given some cool kills here and there, but in comparison to the previous efforts I was pretty disappointed with the usage of our usually awesome killer. I also expected more from the characters involved, especially the group of friends (there are other characters eventually present, aside from them), as there was little conflict between them once heads started to roll. Normally social breakdown kicks in when they find themselves in a dire situation with no solution, but in this case the writer was rather bland for most of the story.

Director Mikkel Braenne Sandemose did a decent job in his debut full-length effort, giving us awesome atmosphere that took full advantage of Norway’s barren and snow-filled landscape. With the film’s enjoyable and gore-fueled opening sequence we are shown offhand that Sandernose has no intention of holding back with his direction, and it was his execution that kept the film watchable despite a dull plot. Sandernose managed to keep me engaged during the slow scenes, and thankfully his horror was worthwhile as we were once again given an awesome brooding killer who came with awesome mannerisms reminiscent of famed killers Jason Vorhees and Michael Myers. The look of this killer was great and his execution was dead-on, and thankfully he provided some good live-action gore as well, although it was fairly tame in comparison to the earlier efforts in the series. There is little I can balk at over regarding Sandernose’s direction as the acting performances were good enough and nearly every other element was executed to the same standard, showing that despite the merely decent end result it seems Sandernose may have what it takes to be a future winner in the genre.

Overall, Cold Prey 3 is a step down from its two positive predecessors thanks to a mediocre story that despite delving into the history behind the killer did not really give us anything creative or worthwhile to keep things interesting. The kills are good and the killer provides good horror for the viewer, but in the end this is a decent film at best that sadly did not live up to the standards set by the previous efforts.

Rating: 6/10

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