Saturday, August 20, 2016
Edge Of Winter (2016)
DIRECTOR: Rob Connolly
Percy Hynes White
Caleb and Bradley are two brothers who are visiting their distant father. Their mother has brought the brothers over in hopes that they can have a better relationship with their father. On a bonding trip into the snowy wilderness, they get into a car accident that leaves all three of them stranded. When their father discovers that the two boys will be moving to London with their mother and her new husband, things head south as their father is afraid to lose them forever.
Going into Edge Of Winter, I had high hopes for the movie as I'm a big fan of actor Joel Kinnaman. Watching this extremely talented actor on the American remake of the Swedish series The Killing for four years. It made me have a great appreciation for his talents. So whenever I see him headline a movie. I get pretty excited to see what the man does next in his career. Sadly, as with his role in the horrid Robocop remake, Edge Of Winter doesn't provide him with a chance to fully shine.
The most significant issue that Edge Of Winter faces is that the movie is a case of it's all been done before. This isn't the first snow-capped winter thriller set within the vast mountains or forests of America's backcountry. We have seen this type of story done a dozen times before, and it's been done much better. The movie really doesn't offer anything new in the way of storytelling either, so things become very predictable by the time the film reaches its third act.
Due to the plot being somewhat predictable in this movie, there is no real element of surprise or shock. Once the movie begins to take off towards the third act, it's not a surprise as to where the film will eventually end up. Once it does end, it never takes any real risks with its twists and turns. While putting the two brothers in slight danger throughout, a refreshing twist would've been to have had the father perhaps kill his own sons, so they don't ever leave. Now that would've added some much-needed shock value to Edge Of Winter.
Regarding pacing, this movie is extremely slow. I'm all for a slow-burn thriller, but the film really is just sluggish. Even when the film starts to build towards the conclusion, the film stays in neutral. It never ramps up the tension to breaking point. When the brothers are put in danger, the film never really feels like they are in actual peril. The movie for the entire running time flatlines. I had hoped that once their father turns sinister that we would see some terror but it's never given to the audience.
I found that the character development wasn't powerful with Joel Kinnaman's father character in the film. We get little signs that his character is breaking early on in the movie when he discovers that his sons are moving overseas but when he starts to lose it, I'd have liked to see him go all types of Jack Nicholson in The Shining kind of crazy. Had they chose to go with his character becoming murderous towards his sons, I think the movie would have had many more thrills and chills.
The addition of the two travellers being added into the plot feels like they were only added to give Joel Kinnaman's character something to do. To make him look that tad bit murderous and insane. They are there to provide Edge with Of Winter a death toll. They aren't around long enough for us to actually care when his character flips out on them. I think had they come along earlier on in the film or given us more time with those two characters, we may have cared for the both of them a little more when they are quickly killed off.
Visually, I think Edge Of Winter looks decent and is well made for the most part. The movie isn't exactly a visual feast for the senses. But being that this flick is mainly set in the woods and snow-covered mountains, there is a lot of green and white. It's not exactly a lot to work with when it comes to great colour schemes. Edge Of Winter is, however, slick enough and well filmed that it's one of the better aspects of this thriller. A few neat tricks with the cinematography just gives it that little bit more oomph.
Lastly, the acting within the film is great. While I wasn't impressed with some of the development of the characters, the actors within the film are solid. Joel Kinnaman does the best with what he's given, but I'd have loved to see him really lose himself. Tim Holland who is now the new Spiderman is a talented young actor. Percy Hynes White as the younger son is also excellent in his role. I actually think he outshined Tom Holland. Rachelle Lefevre and Shiloh Fernandez were sadly underused in their minimal parts in the movie.
DEATH TOLL: 2
BLOOD AND GORE:
- A rabbit is shot (offscreen).
- A guy is repeatedly slammed in a car door.
- A guy is suffocated to death.
- A deer is gutted.
- A dead body is shown.
- Someone is repeatedly punched in the face till they die.
- Someone is hit in the head with a rock.
Edge Of Winter joins a very long line of survival thrillers that are set in the snowy wilderness of the American backcountry. The film while boasting a great cast with some solid performances rarely is able to break away from that familiar feeling of seeing this type of story before. The movie offers nothing really new to this overly well-worn tale of the elements taking a toll on one's mind. This is a case of we've seen it all before and it was done a lot better.