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Cold Ground (2017) – Movie Review

Cold Ground (2017) - Movie Review

Another one that got lost in the depths of my now world famous ‘list’ – Cold Ground.

Watched it about six months ago now, threw it on the list, and unfortunately it slipped down the pecking order into the oblivion of Found Footage titles I’m yet to put up here!

When this happens, I have to watch the movie again before posting it’s review here – which more often than not, turns out to be a double-edged blade…

If it’s a shit film – sitting through it a second time is soul-destroying.

If it’s good – sitting through it for a second time becomes a nice little perk!

This is a good film. 🙂

The Plot

1976: Two young journalists leave for the French-Swiss border to investigate a strange case of cattle mutilations and record testimonies for a TV channel. Yet, once they get there, the scientific team they were supposed to meet has gone missing. Escorted by a first-aider, a British biologist and an American forensic investigator, Melissa and David will go looking for the missing team deep into the mountains.

French and English Dialog

Before I go any further, I should point out that the rumors of this being a subtitled filmed are only half-cocked – this is a film by a french director, Fabien Delage, but the scenes are a mix of both French and English dialog (French is obviously subtitled!).

I touch on this because it is quite an original angle, and I’m aware that some of you hate subtitled movies (which is fine – each to their own!).

Conclusion 

Okay, apart from having one of the coolest movie covers I’ve seen for a couple of decades – this WAS a good film.

Did it rely on tropes common to the found-footage subgenre?

Yep, sure it did, but it also offered a shitload of positive new ideas as well.

First off the bat – the cinematography has gone through a great deal of care and attention. It’s not just the awesome location and scenery – it’s the washed-out film stock look from the 1970’s.

They’ve also got a bit original with the POV experience in certain scenes. The one standout clip is what the camera catches when an avalanche hits the group – pretty inventive and effective.

I was unsure about the cast to begin with – I kinda warmed to the native English speakers at first, but that’s to be expected. By the time the film finished – I was equally impressed by all the actors on show (foreign language and English).

Simply put – the character list was made up of likeable and sympathetic characters that worked well within the movie’s plot.

And What about the plot?

Well, it’s not exactly ground breaking really, but it’s covered in a pretty solid fashion, with adventurous and ambitious ideas thrown in for good measure.

Delage and cinematographer Blandin have obviously sat down and thought the whole process through, highlighted what would make the movie stand out, and run with it.

It works, and works well.

Writer/director Fabien Delage is a new one on me, but he’s apparently had a great deal of success in the past with a movie named Fury of the Demon (La Rage du Démon) (which is listed as a faux documentary from 2016 – could be worth a watch!).

A good, solid addition to the Found Footage genre.

Chris

4 Comments

  1. Okay, I know these movies would not have a plot, if the characters were using their brains. And I am talking first about the guy who gets to stay in the warm and cozy lodge. Unable to communicate with the group on the top of the mountain for at least a day! But, the supply guy saw them 3 days ago! This does not set off alarm bells? I did not understand the immediacy of having to go to the top. The American cop sees similarities in some violent crime back home but he still does this very long, isolated, really, really cold climb without questioning the lack of communication with the crew at the top. Other than that, I really liked it for the reasons you mentioned and I cared about all the characters- except for dumb ass in the lodge.

    • Man I gotta watch it again now…because I’ve already forgotten the ‘dumb ass in the lodge’ character!
      These movies begin to blur into one another! 🙂

  2. I actually met the Director at a convention in Toronto a few years ago. He also made a show called “Dead Crossroads” where he and a friend would explore abandoned building in France, they usually had “ominous” stories attached.

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