Cold Prey 2: Resurrection (Fritt Vilt II, 2008)

Cold Prey 2: Resurrection (Fritt Vilt II) first published by

First things first: in its native Norway, Cold Prey 2: Resurrection sold 101,564 tickets for its opening weekend – substantially more than than any other domestic film in the country’s history. Even when one accounts for the film’s massive marketing campaign, this is extraordinary, not least for a slasher sequel. Yet what it shows is that locals yearn for films that reflect their own life and environment, even as genre audiences long to see well-worn tropes defamiliarised through relocation. In truth, Roar Uthaug’s ‘original’ Cold Prey (Fitt Vilt, 2006), with its combination of co-eds, an isolated setting and an unstoppable killing machine, was not particularly original at all – but its location in the spectacular, snow-covered mountains of Norway’s Jotunheimen set its apart from the type of American slasher whose conventions it was otherwise wholeheartedly appropriating. 

The same is true of Mat Stenberg’s sequel, which as a slasher is merely serviceable, but which comes with its own particularities of ‘local colour’ to distinguish it from the competition (already dwindling by the Noughties). It begins almost exactly where Uthaug’s ended, with sole survivor Jannicke (Ingrid Bolsø Berdal) discovered wandering in a traumatised daze near the crevasse which had become the resting place for her four friends and their crazed mountain man assailant. Jannicke is brought to a nearly empty, soon-to-be-closed hospital in Otta to recover, while the five corpses are placed in the basement morgue. We know that the Mountain Man (Rune Melby) will himself return to life and begin killing all over again, but Stenberg creates real tension by delaying the ‘resurrection’ of the English title for over a third of the film, while spending sufficient time introducing the new characters/future victims to make us care about their almost certainly horrible fates at the business end of an ice pick.

The hospital setting is an obvious nod to another slasher sequel, Halloween II (1981), and the reconstructive investigation by Sheriff Einar (Per Schaanning) into the Mountain Man’s Seventies childhood serves as a mirror to the film’s status as a backward-looking throwback that follows closely in the footprints of its own origins and influences. Yet once the mute Mountain Man has begun bludgeoning and stabbing and compound fracturing again, the film settles, much as Cold Prey did, into old, overfamiliar routines of hide and seek and by-numbers slaughter, with lots of bodies – but far too little subtext – buried in the snow. It is refreshing to see two women – Jannicke and young doctor-in-training Camilla (Marthe Snorresdotter Rovik) – joining forces and playing tag team against a hyperphallic male mass murderer, but once the blood has stopped splattering over the icy tundra, the forgettable Cold Prey 2: Resurrection quickly melts from the mind.

Summary: We’ve seen it all before – and not just in the ‘original’ – but this Norwegian slasher sequel has plenty of local colour.

© Anton Bitel