Tuesday 18 June 2024

REVIEW: Snow Valley (2024) - Starring Barbara Crampton, Cooper van Grootel and Tom Williamson

Snow Valley

Review by Jon Donnis

"Snow Valley," directed by the late Brandon Murphy, is a 2024 psychological thriller that tells the story of a newly engaged couple's terrifying weekend at a luxurious ski lodge. Heath Johnson, played by Cooper van Grootel, and his fiancée Laura, portrayed by Rachel Michiko Whitney, look forward to a peaceful retreat at Heath's parents' expansive resort. However, their plans are disrupted when Ellen, a character brought to life by Barbara Crampton, arrives, claiming she works for Heath and lives in the lodge. This unsettling revelation is only the beginning of their ordeal.

The film's setting, a remote snow-covered lodge, adds an atmospheric tension that is perfect for a thriller. The initial scenes are filled with romantic dialogue and picturesque ski footage, which might feel overly prolonged for those eager for the suspense to unfold. However, once the eerie events begin, the movie shifts gears into a more engaging and chilling narrative.

Barbara Crampton's performance as Ellen is a standout. Despite limited screen time, she delivers a chilling presence that adds significant depth to the film. The supernatural elements, including ghostly apparitions and the mysterious changing photograph, provide genuine thrills and effectively create a sense of horror.

Unfortunately, "Snow Valley" struggles with pacing, particularly in its first half-hour, and the characters lack substantial development, making it difficult for viewers to fully invest in their fates. Additionally, the film hints at deeper, more sinister mysteries but rushes through its climax, resulting in a sudden twist and hurried ending that leave several plot threads unresolved.

Despite these flaws, "Snow Valley" manages to entertain within the constraints of its limited budget. It offers a decent viewing experience for fans of B-movie horror and psychological thrillers, it never takes itself too seriously, with plenty of fun moments too. While it may not achieve greatness, it stands as a fitting testament to Brandon Murphy's creative potential, earning a generous 7 out of 10.

Watch on Apple TV - https://apple.co/4etfYNx