The Frozen Ground is based on the true story of Robert Hansen, an Alaskan serial killer currently spending life behind bars for murdering at least 17 women near Anchorage.
Cusack—continuing his recent streak of hideous characters—plays Hansen, the bakery owner who hunted young women and buried their bodies throughout the Alaskan wilderness, undetected by authorities for many years. Nicolas Cage is on hand in “serious” Cage mode as State Trooper Jack Halcombe, who is determined to catch Hansen after Cindy Paulson (Vanessa Hudgens), an exotic dancer, allegedly escapes his clutches.
The movie gets caught in an unfortunate loop regarding Paulson’s willingness to cooperate, and her decisions to avoid authorities. It feels like every other scene focuses on Hudgens sneaking away from Cage and retreating to some seedy area. It gets a little monotonous.
It’s a shame, because Cusack is great as Hansen, as he was in last year’s terrible The Paperboy, in which he played another murderer. Cusack delivers a chilling portrait of a man with no remorse; his performance deserved a better movie.
Hudgens is OK, even when the script lets her down. Cage does nothing special here, although that’s not entirely his fault. The screenplay basically calls for him to run around looking for Paulson the entire time. His few scenes with Cusack are the best ones in the movie.
The film is available to watch via sources including Amazon.com and iTunes; it will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on Oct. 1.