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Hypothermia – 4

Director – James Felix McKenney

Cast – Michael Rooker, Blanche Baker, Benjamin Forster, Amy Chang, Don Wood, Greg Finley, Larry Fessenden, Asa Liebmann

Release Year – 2012

Reviewed by John of the Dead

I was only mildly interested in watching Hypothermia after learning that it was a creature film, but my interest peaked when I saw that it starred Michael Rooker – infamous in the genre for his role in Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer and somewhat of a current genre star these days thanks to role as “Merl” in The Walking Dead. He stars as Ray Pelletier, a quiet and mild-tempered man who plans to spend a pleasant, relaxing weekend ice fishing on a frozen lake with his family. Ray’s plans are corrupted when big city slickers, Steve and Steve Jr. obnoxiously set up camp on the lake. Neither family has much time to squabble with each other though, as a vicious monster awakens from underneath the ice and forces them to work together and set aside their differences if they wish to make it home alive.

This is an auteur effort from James Felix McKenney, and he starts his story fairly well, setting up the initial conflict of the Pelletier family not being amused with the loud-mouthed, beer-drinking, radio-blasting city folks who are scaring away the fish. McKenney does not focus much on the conflict between both parties for very long, instead opting to give us creature action early on and allow the characters to band together to survive – a smart idea given the film’s very short 73 minute runtime. The overall story is an extremely simple one consisting of the humans holed up in a trailer while the creature munches on them one by one, and ultimately builds up to one of the worst climaxes I have ever seen. Seriously, it’s an absolute joke and an insult to the creature sub-genre.

McKenney’s direction is decent at first, giving us OK atmosphere and a positive location that exposes the isolation our protagonists feel when they are eventually bombarded by the creature. The look of the creature will leave some laughing to tears as it is merely a man in a lizard suit with flippers and a sailfish fin, but at least it was not a CGI creature? There is little gore for the viewer and most of it comes in the after-effect of the carnage, but the lulzy creature and lack of gore are only a few of the many directing faults. There are times in this film where it honestly looks like the home movie of a failed college film student, and this mainly comes from the many slow-motion and creature POV shots that continuously ruin the experience. The acting performances are surprisingly not bad, and it was very cool to see Michael Rooker portray a calm, civil character who refrains from using violence to solve his problems, but I still prefer the violent Michael Rooker any day.

Overall, Hypothermia is bearable at times but ultimately its direction and silly climax ruin the live-action creature experience. I cannot recommend this.

Rating: 4/10

…Additional Stills…

This is the creature and I am not even joking.

  1. July 7, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    Wow. Looks like this creature was taken off the set of the original Star Trek TV series….

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