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Freezer (Blu-ray Review)

Freezer - www.whysoblu.comDylan McDermott of the TV Series Hostages and American Horror Story, stars as Robert Saunders, a New York City mechanic who is knocked unconscious at his birthday dinner and wakes up to find himself locked inside the restaurant’s walk-in freezer. But why he’s there – and how he’ll survive – will reveal a chilling nightmare of mistaken identity, the Russian mob, a missing $8 million, and a wounded cop (Peter Facinelli of THE TWILIGHT SAGA) who may hold the key to it all. The temperature is dropping. The fear is growing. And for a man caught between frozen death and vicious thugs, what happens next may lead to the most cold-blooded twist of all. 
Freezer - www.whysoblu.com

Film  

Freezer is the newest film from cinematographer (James Cameron’s The Abyss) turned feature and television director Mikael Salomon. Freezer stars Dylan McDermott (Olympus Has FallenHardware) and Peter Facinelli (The Twilight Saga). On one unsuspecting birthday-date-night Robert Saunders (McDermott) is knocked unconscious, thrown into the trunk of a car, and taken to an industrial meat locker. Robert wakes up bound and on the floor of this freezer locker. Not knowing how he got there or who knocked him out Robert has to race against the clock before he freezes to death.

This is where things get interesting. Enter: The Russian mob. Two non-English speaking Russian goons beat and taunt Robert and let him know that he’s in the predicament he’s in due to some missing money. Money owed to them and the big boss. Robert is only a mechanic and doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Enter: The beautiful and dangerous Russian female counterpart to the scary Russian goons, who if memory serves me correctly, does not have a name. She elevates the level of torture that they are to do upon him in order to get their money. Robert is accused of stealing 8 million dollars from these guys.

Robert isn’t alone in his despair, because he’s got a wounded cop named Sam (Facinelli) to keep him company in the freezer. Sam advises Robert on how to come through this event alive knowing that he very well not make it out himself. At this point Freezer turns into a sort of who’s playing whom type of a film. Can the viewer guess who has the money before the end? There’s a limited cast of characters early on before exploding in the last quarter of the film. This caught me off guard, because I lost track of who was who for a bit.

The real reason why Freezer scores a low rating is due to McDermott’s character motivations. I won’t rag on his acting, because he is a good actor and I LOVE HardwareThe reason Freezer is mediocre is due to Robert wisecracking and making jokes to the Russian mafia in order to stall and put their guard down. I’ll go out on a limb and say that expressing humor and being a smart ass won’t get scary Russian mobsters to let you go. When you insult and wisecrack a mobster you will get a limb cut off and/or shot in the face right where you stand. This is the main reason why Freezer doesn’t thaw all the way out. The stakes aren’t that high, because Robert really isn’t scared of the situation he is in. It’s superficial. Granted, when you get to the ending, your opinion may or may not change about it but by the time I got there I was already done.

I would recommend Freezer to film students or aspiring filmmakers so that they can see what can be done with an ultra limited production budget. Freezer may not be a good movie but you can definitely learn a lot from it on a technical level.

 

Freezer - www.whysoblu.com

Video     

Freezer is presented in 1080p, 2.40:1 widescreen. I thought we were going to get to a rough start, because the opening credit sequence is a banding-noise infused mess, but once the opening credits finish, the film opens up to a very nice and cold atmospheric environment. 99.9% of Freezer takes place in an industrial freezer. Silver and metallic gleam and outfits look detailed as does the vibrantly rich blood. There’s a lot of blood and color banding is not a problem during those scenes. Black levels remain steady and stable, and outside of the opening sequence, never crush. Flesh tones start out nice and natural without flushing but the longer we stay in the freezer the faster we get to pale, pasty, and sickly. Contrast is also kept in check as are the sharpness levels. Nothing has been tweaked in post except for the opening. Freezer looks great on Blu-ray!

Freezer - www.whysoblu.com

Audio     

Freezer is presented in Dolby TrueHD 5.1. To complement the freezing cold palette is this equally frosty lossless soundtrack. Freezer takes place on one set therefore dialogue does sound clean and crisp with zero hints of echoing or reverberation. Sound levels are nicely balanced and ringing has been canceled out. Likewise, gunfire, punches, stabbings, and anything consisting of violence are also handled very well by the lossless TrueHD audio track. This could have been a sound editor’s nightmare but the final product is very clean and robust.  

Freezer - www.whysoblu.com

Extras 

Freezer is plenty light on the extras. The Blu-ray includes an extremely short “making of” featurette and several 2-minute (and less) interview segments with the actors and director. A DVD and Ultraviolet Digital Copy are also included but we don’t count those in the main supplemental package.

  • Freezer – Behind It All!
  • Interviews with actor Dylan McDermott, actor Peter Facinelli, and director Mikael Solomon

Freezer - www.whysoblu.com

Summary 

Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy the types of films that take place on one set or in one setting, because you can really create something special out of them. Freezer is a low budget flick and does well in maximizing every production dollar but then these low production values build up into glaring plot-points. The biggest one would be that if our main cast is in a freezer why can’t you see their breaths? Sure, even CGI breath would have worked and it would have been less distracting. Things like this can really take the viewer out of the film. All is not lost, though, because the Blu-ray has above average video/audio specifications but the extras, or lack thereof, drag the overall rating down a bit. Freezer does have some great production values in terms of set design, cinematography, and make-up special effects. It’s the story that really suffers, which is unfortunate, because it’s been my experience that giving the script a quick re-write or polish, is usually the cheapest thing to do in a film.

 

 

 

Order Freezer on Blu-ray!
Freezer - www.whysoblu.com

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Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

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