The Thaw is a science fiction horror movie about a deadly infection outbreak in a remote polar research station. Wait a minute, this sounds a bit familiar… Deadly infection, remote polar outpost, and a possibility of a global catastrophe? Is this The Thing? Sadly, it is not, although the movie borrows quite a few elements from that eighties classic. One of them is the graphic nature of the infection. I mean, the movie opens with a man trying to pull out some kind of parasite from a woman’s forehead. Just to be clear, there won’t be any mutants here.
The special and practical effects were solid and The Thaw does have that nasty and graphic quality about it. If you can call it that. However, it’s best that you know these things before playing the movie. After you’ve been properly grossed out, the movie tries to develop the story and characters quite clumsily. I also want to mention that we will return to the gross-out fest once the infection kicks into gear, during the final third. As in every B science fiction horror movie, some of the decisions characters make are quite dubious.
For example, just take the hand chopping scene and you’ll see what I mean by that. The cast led by Val Kilmer did what they could with the script and the end result isn’t too bad. I’m not sure that casual movie fans will be thrilled with The Thaw but horror and science fiction fans will enjoy it I think. Especially if they’re fans of this setting and plot so reminiscent of The Thing. Climate change is very much real and the eponymous The Thaw is already happening. With it come concerns of all kinds of bacteria and viruses stuck in the permafrost.
Siberia seems as an especially fertile ground for these kinds of potentially catastrophic events. The X-Files already explored such events in the eighth episode of the first season of the show simply titled Ice. However, that episode was inspired by a real case that happened in Greenland as reported by the Science News. I tried finding the article in question but had no luck. So, if someone knows what the hell happened with that excavation team in Greenland can leave a link below.
While Dr. David Kruipen was studying climate change in his remote station in the Arctic he stumbled onto something. He and his team accidentally discovered a woolly mammoth preserved in the permafrost. The same permafrost exposed due the effects of climate change. Before he fully understands what he comes across, a group of his students arrives at the station. All of them will soon find themselves in a horrific situation. And they will have to make some pretty difficult choices. Choices that could impact the future of the entire human race.
I don’t know if this was due to my completely legal copy of the movie but the cinematography was just off. The colors were washed out and lifeless adding to the overall drabness of the movie. Finally, if you’re looking for movies like The Thaw check out Slither and Splinter. Both of these movies are much better than the one we talked about today with Growth being about the same quality.
Director: Mark A. Lewis
Writers: Mark A. Lewis, Michael Lewis
Cast: Val Kilmer, Alexandra Staseson, William B. Davis, Anne Marie DeLuise, Kyle Schmid
Fun Facts: The Thaw is actually a Canadian movie with most of the filming taking place in Esket Reserve in Western Canada.