Cold Prey 2 (2008)

Wandering helplessly in freezing peaks of Norway, Jannicke, the sole survivor of a killing spree by a pickaxe wielding man-mountain, is discovered by a passing motorist, and taken to hospital. Following a swift police investigation, the bodies of her fallen friends are recovered. Sadly for her, and the rest of the hospital’s inhabitants, another body is recovered, and this one is not nearly as dead as Jannicke thought. The nightmare is far from over…

From the outset and throughout, you’ll frustratingly find yourself all but screaming at the screen and at Jannicke, cursing her for just not double-tapping that big bastard when she had the chance. But if she had, then there wouldn’t have been this sequel, and although not much of an improvement on the first, it certainly has its entertaining qualities.

The main difference with Cold Prey 2 that very much sets itself apart from its predecessor is that, although much of the tension is still the same, it doesn’t take itself as seriously. Cold Prey went for bone chilling suspense and terror, but fell incredibly short of the mark. The need for a back story surrounding the antagonist gave us too much of an explanation, or justification on why he was such a savage killer. A killer massacring a group of people with no explanation or ‘just because’ is far more terrifying, as you the viewer are invited to make your own conclusions as to why. More often than not, real fear comes from what you don’t know or see. Letting the viewers’ imagination fill in the blanks is far more effective than spoon-feeding them an explanation.

As a result of this change in the memo, Cold Prey 2 really turns the killing up to 11. Nurses, police, special agents all fall prey to the killer and his trusty pickaxe. As enjoyable to watch as this is, there are perfect opportunities to break out the controversy throughout the film, the main one being the addition of Daniel, a sickly child in the hospital, who falls into the ‘impervious to harm because he’s a little kid’ stereotype. Yes, he serves as a great catalyst to bring out Jannicke’s mothering instinct and inner badass, but I can’t help but think if they’d killed him off, then it would have taken the film to a whole new level of unabashed horror and violence. Controversial as it may be, it would have made the film really stand out.

Although better than the first instalment, Cold Prey 2 still falls short of the mark in many ways. Yet again, it’s a film that could really have been so much better if they had a clear cut plan. It’s not all bad though. Ingrid Bolsø Berdal gives another stellar performance throughout, and the over the top nature makes it a relatively enjoyable experience.

The good news is, it’s definitely worth a watch. The bad news is, you have to sit through the first beforehand.

Rating: ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆

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