Stop me if this sounds familiar: in a far-northern community, night lasts thirty days, which makes the area highly hospitable to vampires. Yes, Frostbitten shares a very similar premise to the excellent 30 Days of Night. And while the Swedish film predates its American counterpart, it is more recent than the graphic novel. At any rate, the similarities pretty much end there, as Frostbitten is more interested in comedy than its cousin, and is also nowhere near as good.
The prologue is promising, with Scandinavian volunteers in the German army during WWII becoming lost and encountering vampires in a remote cabin. Flash forward, and the surviving member of the unit is now a respected geneticist performing experiments that only he knows the truth about on rather unusual patients. A teenager and her divorced mother arrive in the community just in time for all hell to break loose. Said hell does feature some inventive and humorous moments, but the film is hamstrung by dead clichés when it shifts its focus to the local high school and the group of characters we have seen far too many times before and never want to see again.
The 5.1 Swedish audio track does terrific work in providing menace, even when the film it accompanies falls down on the job. This flick is VERY, VERY LOUD. The opening battle is deafening enough to do Saving Private Ryan proud. The surround effects are excellent, the score is powerful, and the sense of environment is almost total. No distortion, either. So a very nice job all around.
The image is sharp, there is no visible grain, and the blacks are excellent. My initial reaction, based on the first few scenes, was that this transfer was damn near perfect. But then the action shifted to pitch darkness, and the perfection slipped a bit. Some of the scenes are so dark it is very hard to make out what is going on. This isn’t a constant problem, but it is there.
Fairly undistinguished stuff: your typical promotional making-of featurette, two deleted scenes, three blooper outtakes, the theatrical trailer, plus some trailers of considerably older (but rather interesting) vintage.
The premise is an interesting one, but the execution is ultimately pedestrian. Too bad.