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Film / Frostbite

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"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.

Frostbite provides examples of:

  • Barrier-Busting Blow: The Shape bursts a door, despite it not being locked.
  • Big Bad: The Shape, AKA Dr. Gerhard Beckert, a Nazi vampire trying to create human-vampire hybrids.
  • Bloody Hilarious: Many of the vampire attacks in the later half are rather humorous, especially the scene with the garden gnome.
  • 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.
  • Classical Movie Vampire: The jock vampire John dresses kind of like Bela Lugosi.
  • City with No Name: The town never get's named in the film. It's a combination of the towns of Kalix, Överkalix and Haparanda.
  • Color-Coded Eyes: With the exception of Cissi, who is black, ALL of the vampires' original eye color was green.
  • Curiosity Killed the Cast: Most of the deaths are caused by this.
  • Darkest Hour: At the end of the film, both symbolically and literally.
  • 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 villain is not wearing pants or any underwear for the last third of the movie. We only see his butt twice.
  • Disappeared Dad: There is basically no mention in the movie who Saga's father is and what happened to him.
  • Doing In the Wizard: Vampirism is explained as a virus. On the other hand, crosses and prayer wielded by a person with faith and simply touching said person hurts the vampires causing it to kind of fall between the chairs. This can lead to several conclusions:
    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.
  • 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.
  • Dull Surprise: Right after his transformation, Sebastian eats a dog. The dog's owner, an old woman, just stares blankly at the scene.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The big bad Nazi-vampire prays for the soul of one of his victims after killing him and is shown visibly distressed for having killed his friend.
  • Eye Scream: A vampire bites out a girl's eye.
  • 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.
  • The police officer Jacob at first, but later he and the other police officers start to put the pieces together... Freak Out ensues.
  • Ghostapo: Beckert is a mad nazi scientist who wants to create a master race of vampires.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: The worst violence happens off-screen and we only see the aftermath.
  • Grim Up North: The film takes place in the north of the north.
  • Haunted Castle: The town hospital is pretty much a haunted castle.
  • Hunter of His Own Kind: Beckert kills the vampires he has created to keep the population under control.
  • I've Never Seen Anything Like This Before: Dr. Nilsson says this when he talks about the bite marks on Sander's throat.
  • I Hate You, Vampire Dad: Maria has little love for her Nazi-vampire father. Probably it's due to him keeping her in the hospital basement and experimenting on her.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Vega is impaled on a garden gnome.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Vampire killed by impalement on garden gnome. Nuff said.
  • Improvised Cross: In one scene, a character puts two sticks together to repel a vampire. This is subverted when the vampire is unimpressed and points out that the sticks actually form an "X." This is double subverted when the character rectifies their mistake and the vampire immediately recoils.
  • 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: Vega does this 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.
  • Nightmare Face: A certain type of the vampires has their face transforming when in "attack-mode". Ironically, this takes away the much creepier human look they have otherwise.
  • The Night That Never Ends: A twisted version; vampires don't cause the absence of sunlight, but they take advantage of the fact that it's naturally absent for the month.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: For a film set in the far north, there sure are a wide variety of accents on display among the supposed natives... The irony being that at least half of the cast are natives and most of them don't even have much of a accent.
  • Norse Mythology: Character named Saga, after the goddess of vision.
  • One-Winged Angel: The villain transforms into a creature that kind of Looks Like Orlok. And is naked.
  • One-Word Title: Frostbite.
  • 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 reflection, 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.
  • Paint the Town Red: John paints his own house red with his own guests.
  • 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.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: "Don't worry. This will soon be over. Dawn is... just a month away."
  • Police Are Useless: Guns and authority prove useless against vampires, especially when the vampires you are facing are 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.
  • Tear Off Your Face: In the film's prologue, a Nazi platoon find a victim of one of the vampire who has had his face ripped to shreds.
    • When John turns at the party, he tears off Cissi's face.
  • Technicolor Death: The death of The Shape has him first revert into his vampire form then start to disintegrate until he turns into a skeleton which turns into ashes.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: The villain is a professor who wants to create a master race of vampires.
  • Timeshifted Actor: Young Beckert is played by Swedish exploitation star Per Löfberg.
  • 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 disbelieves 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.
  • Vampire Bites Suck: The newborn vampire rips up faces and necks, and rips off limbs to get to the blood.
  • Wall Crawling: These vampires love climbing on walls.
  • What Happened to Mommy?: Saga gets a bad surprise when Annika shows up at the end as a vampire.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: When the massacre begins, Robert is nowhere to be seen and one can only assume his body parts are among the ones scattered around the house. In the shooting script, he did indeed die in the massacre and it was his body Saga finds, instead of the body of the nameless girl played by Anna Asp.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Saga is quick to realize that her new friends are vampires 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.