by Rob DiCristino
I’m going to cut to the chase on this one, folks. You’re busy. You’ve got scary movies to watch. You’ve got seven-word reviews to write. I don’t want to take up too much of your time. So, here goes: Stanislav Kapralov’s snowbound slasher Let It Snow isn’t worth your eighty-three minutes. It’s bland, tedious, and almost entirely devoid of the gooey guts and gore we come to expect during #ScaryMovieMonth. It’s about a pair of blandly attractive American slices of white bread (Ivanna Saknho as Mia and Alex Hafner as Max) who travel to Georgia (country, not state) hoping to take on the baddest slopes any semi-professional snowboarder could possibly ask for. They’re thrill-seekers in love, you see, and Max just won’t feel like a Real Man until he gets down on one knee at the summit of Devil’s Nards, or whatever the hell they call the big mountain. The film’s early beats are a dull, over-directed collage of sex scenes and landscapes. The action doesn’t start until the middle bits, once Mr. and Mrs. MAGA hit the slopes and become the target of a masked killer who stalks Devil’s Nards in search of fresh tourists 1they can knock off precarious cliffs.
Make that would-be horrors, I guess. This may be the only slasher in history with — Let me check my notes — no actual on-screen murders. There’s a body or two laid out in the early expository moments, but there are literally zero instances of dramatic tension that give way to the aforementioned slasher doing anything that resembles slashing. It’s bold, in a way. Right? It’s almost postmodern. I will say this in defense Let It Snow, though: Co-writer/director Kapralov really, really wants it to be a movie. Despite the absence of observable emotional range in his lead performances, Kapralov shoots the film with a kind of graceful, European staccato that makes its proceedings feel more profound than they actually are. Had it anything on its mind, we might have called the film “meditative” or “introspective.” There are emotional beats, of course — mostly beats that involve a kindly grandpa who lives in a secluded cabin — but they fail to create real drama because we simply cannot not care less about the jar of marshmallow fluff we’ve been boondoggled into accepting as a protagonist.