Holy shit, it’s cold! M.L. Miller aka the @$$hole formerly known as Ambush Bug here. Let’s continue the countdown fun with the Best Snow-Covered horror films for the chilly month of January. To be fair, I’m going to forgo repeating myself with Holiday horror films since we covered that last month.
The frigid air, the crunch of snow underfoot, and the contrast between red blood and pure white snow makes Snow-covered horror films one of my favorite sub-subgenre’s of horror. I’m going to count down the films that made me feel the chilliest while watching. As far as how I compiled this list? Well, there’s no real method to my special brand of madness. I’ll be counting down every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday through December to my favorite snow-covered horror film of the year. I’m sure there are some that I’ve missed, overlooked, or simply haven’t seen yet, but that’s what the comments section below is all about.
So let’s get to it! Chime in after the article and let me know what you think of the film, how on the nose or mind-numbingly wrong I am, and most importantly, come up with your own damn list…let’s go!
#13 – THE DARK BELOW – #13
Why is THE DARK BELOW #13? Because it probably is the most chilling new film I’ve seen over the last year. With only one line of dialog, THE DARK BELOW focuses on communicating how blistering cold the protagonist is as she attempts to escape from a sadistic killer intent on burying her in an icy grave. This is just an arduous and horrifying experience of a film. You can find it here on DVD/BluRay and on Amazon here!
THE DARK BELOW (2015)
Directed by Douglas Schulze
Written by Douglas Schulze, Jonathan D’Ambrosio
Starring Lauren Mae Shafer, David G.B. Brown, Veronica Cartwright, Zachary Levine, Seraphina Anne Zorn, Tiffany Burns
Find out more about this film @darkbelowmovie on Facebook here
“Love is cold.” are the only three words uttered in THE DARK BELOW and while occasionally, the pacing is a bit slow, the film itself isn’t hurt by the lack of dialog. Shot in stylistic slo mo’s and moody music, this thriller is definitely on the experimental side, but it is also a successful white-knuckle, nail-biter of a flick.
THE DARK BELOW opens with a violent struggle between a man (David G.B. Brown) and a woman (Lauren Mae Shafer). After knocking her unconscious, the man takes the woman to the middle of a frozen lake, gives her a thermal swim suit and tosses her into a hole in the ice just as she regains consciousness. Trapped under the ice, the woman struggles to survive as the man toys with her above, knocking her back in every time she surfaces. Through flashbacks we learn these two are married and that it appears the man is a serial killer who drowns his victims. The film is the woman’s arduous struggle to get out of her icy grave and get away from the killer above.
THE DARK BELOW boils down its story to its simplest form, leaving it a tightly knit and powerfully potent little bit of cinema. Without dialog, the film relies heavily on the imagery filmmaker Douglas Schulze plays out on the screen and these images are absolutely horrific as the woman struggles time and again to survive in the frozen water. While the action does get a little repetitive and the excessive amount of slo mo ends up dragging the pace a bit, the danger of this film is highlighted amazingly through Shafer’s gutsy performance and never give up attitude. It’s horrifying to see her struggle as the icy waters begin freezing her exposed face and fingers. This film exemplifies frostbite like I’ve never seen before and will definitely make you grimace a time are two as her fingers and face begins to turn purple and black.
While the lack of frozen breath is noticeable, it’s a minor complaint about an amazing and simple film. A bigger complaint would be the motivation of the killer and while it suggests that the killer gets off on toying with the woman, it isn’t made clear why he gives her a chance to live with a wetsuit and oxygen supply. But again, this doesn’t deter from the movie that much as it takes you right along with this unlucky woman’s horrifying struggle leaving one with feelings of claustrophobia and dread the whole way through. Though there is no dialog, this story doesn’t really need it. THE DARK BELOW is a truly unique film worth diving into. Just make sure you watch it wrapped in a blanket because it’s going to chill you to the bone.
If you like what I wrote above, help me out and buy it on Amazon here
THE COUNTDOWN SO FAR…
#14 – THE LAST WINTER
#13 – THE DARK BELOW
M.L. Miller goes by many names—Ambush Bug, Mark L. Miller, hey you jerk over there! He’s an original @$$Hole/wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of MLMILLERWRITES.COM. Follow Mark on the Twitters @Mark_L_Miller.
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