26 May 2024
Read our review for Cold

2024 Glasgow Film Festival Review – Cold (2023)

Read Robert Ewing's 2024 Glasgow Film Festival review COLD
The idea of a mystery taking place across 2-time frames is a great concept. Seeing the mystery of the past unfold at the same time as the mystery of the present can be thrilling. Cold plays into this story idea to varying degrees of success. The film follows Óðinn Hafsteinsson who is raising his daughter alone as his ex-wife recently just committed suicide. As part of his job, he must investigate the death of 2 boys at a juvenile treatment centre. The investigation uncovers sinister and scary secrets. Somehow while investigating Óðinn discovers that the deaths are somehow connected to his wife’s suicide.

This concept is fantastic in theory. However, in execution, I feel Cold is sadly utterly boring. The film is only 1 hour and 38 minutes long, which shocked me as it felt like a 2-hour long one. The film’s mystery is utterly lacklustre and is trying too hard to be spooky. The film features supernatural elements that feel out of place. The rest of the film is grounded in a scary and somewhat gripping reality but then you see the ghost of the ex-wife haunting our characters and it feels cheap and lazy.

However, the film jumps right off the deep end when it comes to the ending. While no spoilers will be in this review. When the ending happens the film teases are very dated views on a serious medical condition. It leads to a very stupid and problematic ending.

There are aspects that I like. There are moments when the narrative works. Out of the two storylines, the more interesting one is when we see what happened at the juvenile treatment centre. It features the best acting in the film and contains genuinely horrific moments but as soon as I am getting invested in that side of the story we cut to the modern day. As soon as we cut to the modern day, I lose all interest as I feel the acting is not as good and the story is boring.

Another thing I will praise is that at one moment the film has great editing. There is a scene where the film cuts between the two timeframes where the actions line up identically and it leads to effective transitions between the two timeframes.

I hate the fact I cannot praise Cold as at the core there is a super dark and mysterious film lurking under a disappointing layer of boring nonsense. While I do not hate this film. I did find it to be a waste of time.

★1/2

Playing as part of the 2024 Glasgow Film Festival / Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson, Mikal Kaaber, Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir / Dir: Erlingur Thoroddsen


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