The Thaw (2009)
Reviewed on 2010 June 18
Technically competent but largely mediocre eco-horror flick, taking the memes of global warming and some-things-man-was-not-meant-to-know but weighing them down with annoying and cliched characters. This is one of those things that could have been truly horrifying but fell short of the mark.
Dr. Kruipen (Val Kilmer) is a scientist with a problem (I mean, besides the stick up his butt): He and his team of eco-goblins uncovered a woolly mammoth in the Arctic. Thanks to climate change, the mammoth thaws and they’re also plagued by an ancient, unwanted guest. The warmer temperatures also release an insect that loves to feast on people and use them as human playpens for their larvae. He warns his estranged daughter Evelyn (Martha MacIsaac) away from the base, but she comes for a class expedition anyway, bringing her friends with her. Two are genuinely nice and we don’t see enough of them; the other two I just refused to believe could stop shopping at Abercrombie long enough to even fly to Worm Chow, Alaska.
Without giving away any more, let’s just say there’s lots of “I’m going to go explore that strange noise alone, barefoot and without much in the way of weaponry!” stuff going on here; plus, when the characters are this bitchy or self-righteous, it’s hard to feel afraid for who gets et. This is a shame, because the special effects were good. If we’d bonded more with the characters here instead of trying to care about Abercrombie and his snippy girlfriend Hollister, the director could have at least had us screaming “No! Go away! Don’t do it!” at the screen. As it was, my only emotional investment was geeking out over the cool make-up and wondering how they did it.
Two chocolate morsels.