Tremors: A Cold Day in Hell (2018)
Written By: Angela DiLella
Director: Don Michael Paul
Producer: Mike Elliot and Greg Holstein
Screenwriters: John Whelpley, Brent Maddock, S.S. Wilson, and Ron Underwood
Release Date: May 1, 2018
Michael Gross as Burt Gummer
Jamie Kennedy as Travis B. Walker
Tanya van Graan as Doctor Rita Simms
Jamie-Lee Money as Valerie McKee
Paul du Toit as Mr. Cutts
Alistair Moulton Black as Yankee
Kiroshan Naidoo as Hart Hansen
Rating = 1.5/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
The sixth film in the Tremors franchise sees the return of the creatures known as Graboids as well as long-time series main man Burt Gummer and his son, now in Northern Canada. Melting polar ice caps have caused “Precambrian” Graboids to thaw out, and they’ve been attacking and eating both the locals and visiting scientists. Burt eventually goes on to lend a hand with his son, unaware that an infection from an old Graboid attack is starting to affect him. His scientist companions inform him that to save himself, he’s going to need antibodies from a still-living Graboid.
As usual, the Graboids start picking off the team Burt has assembled right away. However, the remaining team manages to electrify a swatch of land and catch the giant Graboid alive. A DARPA agent who had gotten entangled in the excitement toyed with the idea of weaponizing the monstrous worm: Burt sees to it that he cannot.
This movie focuses on the original Graboid form of the recurring Tremors beasts. Although there are a few human deaths, they happen off-screen as the Graboids stick to their usual method of killing their victims. They pretty much just pull their victims back into their tunnels or straight into their gullets. There is some flying blood and tissue when Graboids are injured or killed, though it’s nothing to offset its PG-13 rating.
The Grave Review
Tremors is one of those series that fans keep on coming back to. No matter how silly a new premise seems, it gets the views and the attention, even if we never really hear about the sequel in question in the mainstream again. It’s clear that even though Tremors: A Cold Day in Hell was essentially a direct-to-video release, it’s still seen as a big performer: it is shot well, and actually features some pretty good CGI and practical effects. Creators are still clearly willing to shell the money out for Tremors.
The movie carries out the campiness and cheesy humor that earmarks the rest of the series. Some of it, especially the jokes, have been worn a bit thin after almost 30 years, but Michael Gross as Burt still puts effort into his old role. It’s not a surprise that none of the cast got an Oscar nod for their roles in this film, but it doesn’t feel like anybody is phoning it in, either. A strength of Tremors: A Cold Day in Hell is that it remains consistent with previous series movies’ mythos and worldbuilding, and it’s kind of fun to see it connect so overtly to previous films in the franchise. There are also callbacks with Jamie-Lee Money’s character, the daughter of the first movie’s main character Valentine McKee (Kevin Bacon) and Rhonda LeBeck (Finn Carter). She just happens to be in the area for a college internship, sporting a pair of Graboid-skin boots handmade by her father. The throwbacks are a bit of fun for longtime viewers.
Although it is billed as a horror-comedy, the horror aspect is definitely light. The most effective moment is when a Graboid attacks a woman in stream a la Jaws, and there a few other nice Graboid attack scenes. However, I’d still be inclined to tag it with action or suspense rather than horror, or at the very least, classify it as action-horror. It’s a good enough romp, it just isn’t the scariest one.
If you really like the Tremors series, it’s worth seeing Tremors: A Cold Day in Hell at least once: it isn’t a bad way to kill an afternoon. It just doesn’t have that same fear factor that the first few films (Tremors, Tremors 2: Aftershocks, Tremors 3: Back to Perfection) carried.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives Tremors: A Cold Day in Hell (2018) one and one-half graves out of five graves.
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