The Thaw (2009) Movie Review
Written By: TJ
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Mark Lewis
Producers: Trent Carlson, Rob Neilson, Mary Anne Waterhouse
Writers: Mark Lewis, Michael Lewis
Date Released: August 30, 2009
Val Kilmer as Dr. David Kruipen
Martha MacIsaac as Evelyn Kruipen
Aaron Ashmore as Atome Galen
Kyle Schmid as Federico Fulce
Steph Song as Ling Chen
Anne Marie DeLuise as Jane
Viv Leacock as Bart
Rating: 2.5/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Infamous ecologist Dr. David Kruipen (Val Kilmer) unearths a perfectly preserved remains of a frozen wooly mammoth from a melting ice cap in the Arctic. Seeing this as a remarkable find, he immediately summons four of his best ecology students, including his daughter Evelyn (Martha MacIsaac), to take part in the excavation. The group already arrived at the base station when Dr. Kruipen finds out that he has put everyone involved in danger as he discovers prehistoric parasites frozen within the remains of the mammoth. Now, the students are besieged by a swarm of unidentified insects that burrow deep into the flesh of its host and reproduce rapidly by laying numerous eggs. Evelyn then realizes that her father’s solution to prevent the real horror of global warming can be so wrong in so many levels, and not everyone is willing to sacrifice their own lives.
If you have vermiphobia or helmintophobia, the fear of parasites specifically worms or fear of being infested with it, then you might want to think twice before seeing The Thaw (2009). As someone who has fear of parasites in general, this film urges me to double check my body and clean my room again. A parasitic theme usually increases viewers’ anxiety especially when it’s well executed. For The Thaw, I can say that the prosthetics and props, along with slick editing, show us the horror of parasites penetrating deep within our skin. The most cringeworthy scene is when Bart tries to cut the eggs off of his arm but ends up seeing a fully grown parasite burrowing into his flesh. Later on, he asks help from his colleagues to chop off his arm using an ax. Aside from this, prepare yourself for visuals that sure will make you throw up such as decaying bodies and vomits in the color of feces.
The Grave Review
The Thaw (2009) has suffered negative criticisms for having a generic story that is somehow the same as the X Files’ episode titled Ice. This movie isn’t entirely a breakthrough from the genre, but it is moderately entertaining and educational. The film also offers more science than horror, and even though it doesn’t stand out, it sure has a lot of blatant public-service messages about global warming that we needed more than ever.
Computer-generated imagery is a fine aspect about The Thaw. As a film focusing on realism, the production shifted the shortcomings to CGI and effective sound effects that are not exaggerated. No aliens nor zombies, no gratuitous nudity and it doesn’t just take one chop to cut someone’s arm. Just the right amount of disgust and fear overlaps the fact that it has a generic plot and bad dialogues.
Not everyone in the cast is praiseworthy as some of them lack the emotion needed for their roles. Val Kilmer may have given a good performance, but his character loses development and he has a rather short screen time. The only character who stood out for me is Kyle Schmid’s Federico. His role started out as a soft guy who wishes to get back with his girlfriend then turns into a selfish and arrogant brat in the end.
Out of all these positive aspects, we still cannot overlook the loopholes in the film as a whole. First, Dr. Kruipen was shot right on his chest, but he still managed to walk hundreds of miles from field station to base, which doesn’t make much of a sense. Second, Jane is clearly deathly ill but Evelyn decides that mouth to mouth is a best solution. Third, the grave they’ve dug for the victims is probably 8 inches deep, and there are many more that I can’t enlist because this will be too long. When a movie if full of dumb moments like these, instead of being fearful, you just suddenly find yourself laughing.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives The Thaw (2009) two and a half graves out of five graves.
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