"Don't worry. This will soon be over. Dawn is... just a month away."
Written four years before the 30 Days of Night comic and released a year before the movie, the first Swedish vampire film shows a crazy Nazi-vampire (yes, Nazi-vampire) living up in the frozen north of Sweden where the sun does not show up for a month. The arrival of medical doctor Annika and her teenage daughter Saga unleashes the worst bloodbath Sweden has witnessed since the Vikings, where everything from cute little bunnies to waffen-SS gets torn apart by vampires.This horror-comedy received mixed reviews in its homeland and failed at the Swedish box office, but proved to be a hit in Russia and was sold for distribution to over 40 nations, hitting cinemas in UK, Japan, the Philippines, Turkey and Thailand and being released on DVD in USA, Germany, Spain, Greece, Finland and France among others. It won the grand prize at Fantasporto 2006.
Break Them by Talking: The Shape does this to Annika. She has him on the ground, ready with a stake and hammer to kill him if he tries anything. But as soon as he discovers that Annika does not realize that she is becoming a vampire he bullies her into stepping away from him in fear of what she will become and letting her guard down enough for him to attack.
Death Glare: After being turned into a vampire and killing dozens, the brief and hard to notice look on John's face before he notices Saga is in the room is best described as utterly soulless. In a good way.
Discretion Shot: The worst violence happens off-screen and we only see the aftermath.
The villian is not wearing pants or any underwear for the last third of the movie. We only see his but twice.
(1) The virus is magical, the most likely explanation.
(2) The brain is the last part of the body to be infected, completing the transformation. Some people seem to go through serve personality changes while others remain the same, althrough more sinister. This could mean that the effect of religious symbols are simply a part of the psychosomatic problems caused by infection and the characters impression of vampire stories affects how religious symbols hurt them in a kind of Your Mind Makes It Real. This is why Vega is not affected by a cross while Sebastian is: she is used to modern vampire tales where the crosses have no effect. The problem with this explanation is that it would be kind kind of weird if the virus would cause a vampire to start to burn if touched by a holy person. It's also important to know that Sweden is a very secular nation. It's possible and very likely that Saga does not has real faith and because her cross was make shift and not blessed it has nothing more than a geometric form. Note that Saga is the only person to use a cross as a defense rather than conventional weapons. She is simply Genre Savvy.
It's worth to note that Word of God has said the virus-explanation only was added out of fear of not receiving support from the Swedish Film Institute.
Downer Ending: The evil nazi-vampire is dead and his sinister plans have been stopped. The problem? Annika has been turned to a vampire and John, Joel and the other teen vampires spread the infection beyond possible control of the police. Oh, and there is still several weeks until dawn.
Enforced Method Acting: This film had in no ways the money to shot the outdoor scenes in a studio with fake snow. It was actually shot in the northern part of Sweden during winter, but not during the polar night against the director's wishes. It was so cold that actress Grete Havnesköld, who played Saga, started to cry, the actors playing the vampires had to walk around covered in blood during freezing rain, said freezing rain created a layer of "ice armor" of all of the film equipment and the cold caused the cameras to break down.
Final Girl: Depending on how you read the ending. One can read it as either that Saga will be turned into a vampire or that she will live to tell the tale of what happened; Saga is the Norse goddess of storytelling; her name means "the one who sees", alluding to the fact that she will tell others what she saw.
Freeze-Frame Bonus: If you pause the movie when the soldier from the opening scene appears to interrogate Annika, you can see his real name on the name tag on his doctor's coat.
Kick the Dog: After being turned into a vampire, the medical intern Sebastian does not kick the dog, he eats it! Earlier, he takes a bite out of the pet bunny belonging to the brother of his girlfriend.
Kubrick Stare: Vegas does while delivering her one line that is not funny or charming, but scary as s**t.
Large Ham: The Van Helsing of the film, Gerard Beckert, hams it up.
Leitmotif: **The "Vampire Theme": The main theme of the film. A classical horror theme with different variations for each character because Every character becomes a vampire at the end
"Saga's Theme": A beautiful piece that is completely different from the brutal main theme because Saga does not became a vampire at the end.
Lesbian Vampire: Vega shows an intense (and possibly sexual) interest in Saga.
Loads and Loads of Characters: There are about 30 speaking roles in the film! Not to mention characters like the Shape and the Ukrainian Vampire who does not have any dialoge but are prominent characters.
Only One Name: We only get to know the last name of 4 characters.
Our Vampires Are Different: Vampirism in the film is caused by a (supposedly) demonic virus and there are three diffrent vampires in the film. First, there are the regular vampires who have all the typical vampire traits, pale skin, super strength, super senses, sleeps in coffins, hurt by garlic and holy objects, no reflextion, orange/yellow eyes that turn red when bloodthirst is awaken. Then there are the modified vampires who are much like the original ones only that they turn rather demonic when attacking their victims. The third kind is the super vampire, which is able to swift in age at will and does not have pale skin or yellow/orange eyes(they do turn red when bloodthirst is awaken) and are able to transform in a completely demonic form which is physically stronger than the other vampires and harder to kill.
Parody Retcon: Averted. The film has been accused of this from time to time, but the documents about the film that was sent to the Swedish Film Institute BEFORE the film was made makes it clear it was intended as a horror-comedy from the get go. A reason for this was that the trailers made it seem like a straight horror film, only showing the scary scenes.
Playing Against Type: Frostbite is the one Swedish film with a target audience above 12 that does not take a turn to be dark and depressing but rather cheerfully shows all the teens meeting either brutal death at the hands of the unholy demons or losing their immortal souls becoming said demons.
Police Are Useless: Guns and authority proves useless against vampires, especially when the vampires you are facing rebelling teens.
Really 700 Years Old: The Shape appears to be 60, but must be over 100 years old. Maria looks about 10 but is really about 70–80.
Reality Is Unrealistic: Some Swedish critics complained that the accent of many of the cast members sounded like typical Swedish northern. Many of the cast members where actually born and raised in Norrland. The actor playing John is from Pajala, a Swedish town famous for being a small town located in far north in the middle of nowhere who of any one should have a heavy accent, talks with such a hardly noticeable accent it's hard to tell if he just added a few streaks for realism.
Red Eyes, Take Warning: Before the identity of the head vampire is revealed, in one scene we see his eyes get a streak of red in them for a moment.
Red Right Hand: Gerard Beckert has a scar on his face which he received when fighting for the nazis.
Religion Is Magic: Religious faith is the best weapon against these vamps. Even saying grace before dinner drives them off.
Science Is Bad: Gerard Beckert made the incurable demonic vampire-virus even worse using science.
Truth in Television: All the details about the Swedish soldiers fighting for the Nazis actually adds up the real life facts. Frostbite is not only Sweden's first vampire film, but the first (and only) film to actually bring up this topic. Maybe averted case of Politically Correct History.
Un Evil Laugh: The vampire John delivers a demonic laugh. With a helium voice.
Unreliable Expositor: Beckert gives Annika some exposition of the nature of the vampires in the film. While it seems to be legit in some aspects of it, but in others such as the vampire's ability to talk to dogs and aversion of blessed objects it seems to fall apart. Considering that Annika is a doctor and disbelives his claims about vampires he could just tell her what she "wants" to hear. Also, Beckert would probably try to give her as little information as possible to not loose the upper hand.
What Could Have Been: Originally, writer Daniel Ojanlatva intended the three storylines in the film to play out separately rather than intercut between each other. That way no one would understand fully the evil plot of the villain until the very end of the film.
Wrong Genre Savvy: Saga is quick to realize that her new friends are vampire and by logic uses the first anti-vampire tool she can put her hands on: two sticks which she uses to form a cross. Unfortunately, she is not genre savvy enough to know that she needs faith for that to work.
And the Shape too, as he has made his chest strong enough. He knows impaling the heart can kill him so he has made modified himself so that his chest in his transformed state can withstand such attacks better although it weakens him.