Film Review: Arctic Blast

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Who left the air con on again?

Arctic Blast is a strange beast. Essentially an Australian led disaster movie, it appears that everyone is busy running away from a dry ice machine. Good fun all round then!

Released: 2010

Runtime: 1hr 32mins

The Premise

We bugger up our ozone layer to a point that causes rifts to appear, sucking frozen air down to the surface of the planet and initiate a new ice age. Think Day After Tomorrow and you’re on the right track… just on a much lower budget!

The Disasters Faced

“Ourselves” apparently as the lead shouts and bellows to anyone who listens, a dry ice machine gone mad, power cuts, the pronunciation of “data”  and people who can’t run fast enough getting a little chilly.

The Execution

Arctic Blast wastes no time in getting started with a cheesy opening death sequence that sets in motion a chain of events to keep you amused for 90 minutes or so. The script heavy hands the eco-warrior theme of the day but the message is lost in between lots of computer screen watching and whirling sirens. Typical low-budget constraints ensure that most of the film takes place in various communication hubs and while the characters are all relatively likeable Arctic Blast is very workmanlike and by the book. Yes, there’s laughable logic throughout and it’s grossly inconsistent in how the blast seems to operate but it’s not as pathetic as the Asylum films although that merit along certainly doesn’t qualify it as a good movie either. It’s just there – in the middle as something you’d mindlessly watch on a lazy afternoon. The acting varies between stage school (the parents) and competent (most of the main cast) and sometimes there are slight pauses between lines as well which just feel robotic.

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There are lots and lots of looking at things in disbelief in this film

The Effects

Essentially you are watching dry ice attack the world and the CGI is dire. This makes the somewhat limited death sequences laugh out loud funny. What is sad is that the deaths aren’t shown on-screen and only really in one case does an off-screen death actually work to have any kind of emotional impact.

Why It’s Worth Watching and Drinking Game

Arctic Blast works best with shot glasses. One for every time someone says “data” (Darrrtarrrr actually but nevermind). One for every time you get confused before all the blonde females in the cast. There are three of them and at the beginning of the movie and I was very confused as to who was who. Two of them don’t make it so that made it easier in the end! This film is very female bloodthirsty as well which is unusual. Aside from that, it’s just worth watching for some comical effects and acting to spot.

Best Death

I’m torn, the girl Elizabeth frozen on the beach is hilarious but I prefer the eerie death of the waitress lady who decides not to leave her bar and sit down with a drink and peg it. The best bit is she pops on an opera and as it ices up the CD skips about before stopping. It’s the sole piece of really excellent imagery / filmmaking in the entire movie that shines.

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For once a teenager who’s not a complete spoilt brat! Well done cinema!

Favourite Character

Gotta love Zoe (Saskia Hempele)! Even in diabetic collapse, she’s still a trooper!

Weirdest Moment

The whole scientific thing reeks of a lack of substance but I’ll go with the way how some people die instantly before even being enveloped in the fog and yet others can fend off this deadly attack by popping on a coat and sitting on the sofa in front of a small fire. The opening death is also a “did that just happen?” moment!

Random Trivia

Delightfully we enjoy a bit of a goof here at ILDM. When our diabetic Zoe takes a test for herself, the readout actually shows she needs sugar, not insulin – so her whole quest for medical attention is actually for the wrong thing entirely. Whoops.

Conclusion

Arctic Blast is unimaginative and poorly conceived and in the days where both the extremely good and extremely bad market are well catered for, this is for genre purists only. Yes its funny in places, yes there’s no logic to any of it but its been done better (Day After Tomorrow) and worse (Ice Age) elsewhere.

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