The Frozen Ground
An Alaska State Trooper (Nicolas Cage) partners with a young woman (Vanessa Hudgens) who escaped the clutches of serial killer Robert Hansen (John Cusack) to bring the murderer to justice. Based on actual events.
You'd be correct in thinking that you haven't heard of this film, it didn't have a big distribution or receive a lot of press. I caught it by accident recently on cable, but that doesn't make it a B film, it's a finely cast, well acted atmospheric film set in the grim harshness of far northern Alaska. In fact the isolation and desolation of the setting acts as almost another character in the plot. The director uses locations to assist him to tell the story, a true story, and he artfully downplays the gore of the murders and concentrates on the victims. Scott Walker is open about the film being to honour the victims and not the perpetrator.
Cage's State Trooper is honest, hard working and played very low key, there are no outrageous outbursts just Cage at his best and truly involved with his character. Cusack's serial killer is very creepy, subtle but seriously Asocial with no thought given to his victims or their families. But the standout performance is definitely Hudgens as the victim who gets away and heads back to her life as a prostitute but in a small break to her usual luck encounters Cage who wants her to help him get evidence on the serial killer.
This film is a solid crime thriller and it is very pleasant to see Cage and Cusack back together after their last successful stint in "Con Air". The ending of the film is something to witness and the credits eerily point out that all the murders were not uncovered and there are still missing girls. The last homage from Scott Walker is to name each and every victim with a supporting photograph.
Definitely worth your time to watch this, even if you're just curious to see Cage and Cusack back to their usual form.
"Robert Hansen's name may not be as well-known as Ted Bundy, or John Wayne Gacy, but his murderous spree in 1970s and 1980s Alaska puts him in the Serial Killer Pantheon. Despite a troubled and violent background with tons of red flags, Hansen was able to maneuver undetected in Anchorage for many years, abducting young women, raping them, taking them via private plane out into the inaccessible wilderness surrounding Anchorage and then hunting them like game. He was married, with kids. He worked as a baker. People liked him, but he was quiet and kept to himself. He had a great cover persona, as most of these characters do. Flothe finally got a warrant to search Hansen's house, and found an aviation map covered with X's, to mark the spot of his burial grounds. Many of the victims were never found. We'll never know the number of women he actually killed. Hansen was sentenced to 461 years in prison with no possibility of parole."