Yet another entry into the nondescript one word title files HYPOTHERMIA had some serious potential going for it. Look at the two leads: Micheal fuckin’ Rooker and Blanche Baker. Major acting chops there and they both deliver the goods. Don Wood plays a secondary role and does very well also. The premise is pretty good too. A family gathers together for vacation on an icy lake to do some ice fishing before the son and his fiance leave for Africa. Joined by a father and son duo they are confronted by a creature that lives in the lake. Rubber monster suit? Hell yes!
The Pelletier’s have a cabin on Lake Shadow and enjoy family trips for ice fishing. The lake is frozen over and Ray (Rooker) has scouted out potential locations to fish the next day. He falls in the ice and is saved by his son, David (Ben Forster), while Helen (Baker) and David’s fiance Gina (Amy Chang) check over his vitals. Morning finds the Pelletier’s hiking across the ice dragging a sled with the day’s supplies, fishing gear, and wind shelter. Nothing is biting all through the morning and things go from bad to worse when Steve Cote (Wood) and his son Steve Jr. (Gregg Finley) show up driving a heavy duty truck across the ice pulling a trailer that is the latest in ice fishing luxury. Cote is an A-1 asshole. He’s like the stereotype of a frat boy that has never grown up all the way. He suffers some kind of inferiority complex as he always refers to how new things are and how much they cost.
The two clans must put aside their differences as they come to grips of the new reality they have
stumbled into. There is a man-sized monster in the lake and it has eaten all the lake has to offer. Now it is drawn to the only prey left on the lake, the Pelletiers and Cotes. Fast and agile, the monster uses the cold water and the darkness to its advantage picking members of the families off one by one in gory and brutal ways.
The monster looks pretty cool overall. It appears to be a cross between the Creature from THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON flicks and the alien from SPLIT SECOND. The effects were well done and as I mentioned previously, the acting is top notch. Unfortunately HYPOTHERMIA is a shit sandwich. This flick has all of the ingredients for a badass creature feature but falls woefully short. I’m talking choking on its own vomit short here.
With all of the above going for it how could it fail? Easily. The story sucks. The premise is great-families must face ice monster menace on the lake. The way it pans out is horrible. Its inept and ham-fisted and relies on the incredulity and ignorance of the audience. As odious as a person Steve Sr. is it is still hard to believe he would not take his beloved namesake to the hospital when he is grievously injured. Despite what he endures, the character development of Ray would not lead him to fall into the throes of vengeance like Captain Ahab. After being attacked the victims seem to be envenomated though that is not fully explored, nor is the fact that victims begin to see in the orange and red creature-vision. They don’t even mention it to the others when they experience it… The characters have no thoughts as to the origin of this beast just the urge to kill it even from the beginning before it attacks them. The most ludicrous being the ending. We the viewers must be drooling and not realize it because the ending certainly shows the filmmakers think so.
Even thought HYPOTHERMIA has some decent gore and good acting you should avoid it. Chances are if you make it to the end the movie will have made you dumber for it. If you feel up for this pain parade it is currently streaming on Netflix Instant.