Snow, the real hell on Earth. Everytime i see lots of snow, ice, 400 minus degrees, i know this is what real hell looks like. I can´t imagine people would actually enjoy all of this, unless someone paid them to say it is the most wonderful time of the year ( i guess i have revealed your secret Mariah Carey ). Every winter in Sweden we get snow tsunamis, avalanches, ice spiders attacking our cars ( they are bigger than a moose ) and it is all because of winter. Lovely time is it not ? This is why i travel to the palm trees. There you find no snow tsunamis, and no giant ice spiders either, just lovely beaches with drinks and bikinis all over the place. Of course it seems that some people want to live out in the winter landscape such as Alaska, just look at the TV documentary series Mountain Men. Old men walking along hunting for food where snow cover every inch of land ? Not to be disrespectful towards these men, but for their own health issues they should be enjoying a hot meal at a strip bar instead. When it comes to films that manage to capture the essence of winter into a story, then we have a lot of films to choose between. But one of my absolute favourite films where winter is a big part of the film, is The Coen Brother´s classic film Fargo. Released in 1996, this film tells the story of car salesman Jerry Lundergaard ( brilliant played by legendary actor William H. Macy ) who hires two small-time cons Gaer Grimsrud ( brillant played by Peter Stormare ) and Carl Showater ( fantastic performance by legendary actor Steve Buscemi ) to murder his wife. Of course everything goes wrong. Fargo is one of the best drama films of the 90´s and have some really powerful acting performances. I recently came across a new DVD release of the independent horror film known as Winterskin, a film that seemed interesting for taking on a rough winter location. Does this film work well for being a low budget film, or is Winterskin a film that you should not waste your precious time on ?
While Billy Cavanagh ( David Lenik ) is walking out in the wilderness with his father Russell Cavanagh ( Peter Cosgrove ), suddenly Billy is shot. Billy wakes up inside a cabin, where he is taken care of old lady Agnes ( Rowena Bentley ). Since he is wounded, he must rest as much as possible. But outside this cabin, is some sort of creature waiting. Agnes tries to convince that they must stop this beast. But what is really going on, and are these beasts what they seem ?
Imagine a combination of the British horror classic The Descent and the independent thriller Edge Of Winter, and you have Winterskin. This does not mean this film is copying the mentioned films in any way, but there are clearly some different influences here from films we have seen before. With that said, i can say that this is a film that will guaranteed please you, if you enjoy practical effects and the demonic creatures ( that are actually something else ) . There is a twist in this film, that is actually a pleasent surprise towards the end, and i appreciate when a film does not feel too predictable. Let´s get into the characters for a while. Lead character Billy Cavanagh, played by actor David Lenik ( who you might have seen in the film Escape From Cannibal Farm ) does not make a great impact at first, but as the film goes on he delivers a better performance, especially towards the end. But the best acting in this film comes from actress Rowena Bentley ( who is also seen in the horror film Escape From Cannibal Farm ). Her character Agnes reminds me of a Grandmother version of Kathy Bates character Annie, in the classic 1990 film Misery. And i have to say, without the performance of Rowena, this film may not have been as interesting, since she gives her character an odd personality. Actor Peter Cosgrove as Billy´s father Russell is not good at all. The few scenes we see of him, does not leave any impact. The story may not be unique in any way, but works because of the mysterious location. Winterskin is a independent horror film that may not be a film for everyone., but enjoyable if you are in the right mood. Director Charlie Steeds ( who also directed Escape From Cannibal Farm ) have made a film, that especially fans of practical effects will enjoy. Winterskin is a perfect DVD gift for Mother´s Day since we all know that mothers love to see flesh wounds, and bullet holes of course. How do i know ? I thank Oprah Book Club for that, you would be surprised what you can learn there.