I’m sitting in my office at work, pulling the graveyard shift for the credit card processing company I work for. I’m loving my new job as a support technician – and loving the hours more! There haven’t been any calls in about two hours, so I’ve been catching up on my reviews and watching shows on my husband’s Netflix account. Even though I’m the only person in the office and it can get spooky, I still can’t stop watching horror movies!
Tonight, I wanted to look for something different. I didn’t want to watch the same movies that I’ve already seen. With a thunderstorm coming in, I would have preferred HBO’s classic show Tales From the Crypt (which aired during my childhood – and scared me witless!), but alas, I left my DVDs at home. While looking through the queue, I came across Hypothermia, starring Michael Rooker. Some of you most likely know Rooker from AMC’s The Walking Dead, where he plays Merle Dixon, brother of Daryl Dixon (played by Norman Reedus). I love watching Rooker tear up the screen as Merle, and I wanted to see him in another role, so I clicked on Hypothermia. By the end of the movie, the only motivation was Rooker’s performance.
I think the best way to describe Hypothermia is to say that it’s a mixture of JAWS and Tremors, but set on a frozen lake with far fewer characters, almost none of which are memorable. The story centers around two families who come to the same lake to ice fish, but have different ways of ice fishing. Rooker’s family prefers a quiet shelter set up with little holes in the ice. They sit and share a nondescript hot drink from a Thermos and wait for fish. The other family, led by (hang on while I go figure out the antagonist’s name)…Steve Cote and his son (I kid you not) Stevie Jr, prefer more high tech methods. Reading the movie description, it would seem like the two families are supposed to be in opposition, but when I watched it, I wasn’t sure if I was seeing the same movie. I came to realize that Rooker’s character wanted to have a good time, his family wanted to get out of the area because they were cold, the antagonist was a jerk, and his son was boring.
The scariest part of the movie is the poster. When the underwater monster was swimming around, the audience knew because the camera shots were from under the ice, with an orange-toned fish-eye camera lens. This begged the comparison to JAWS, at least the opening sequence anyway. Sometime during the halfway point, one of the characters realizes that the monster is drawn by vibrations (Tremors rip-off), and so the characters endowed with common sense began to move around quietly, though they didn’t make an effort to get off the ice and back to the cabin.
About three quarters of the way through, the audience finally gets to see the monster. Bad move, production company. Very bad move. The monster is a man in a ridiculous mask that doesn’t have a working mouth, and looks to be made of pleather. Overall, it’s more of an updated Creature From the Black Lagoon. When seen from above the ice, it resembles a large koi. I was going to put a picture of the monster in this post, but I started to feel guilty. While looking for a suitably funny picture, I stumbled on a few blogs that actually liked the movie and praised the monster. If you’re interested in seeing it for yourself, just go to google.com and type in “hypothermia movie monster”. I’m sure you’ll get an eyeful.
In summation, Netflix this movie if you are a fan of Michael Rooker, if you’re watching movies with whimpy people that don’t want to be truly scared, or if you’re out to find the next “so-bad-I-had-to-experience-it-for-myself” movie.