Movie Review: Snow Beast (2011)

August 27, 2012

Getting it out of the way: You know that you’ll hate this film if you’re one of the people that will hate this film. You know who you are, vying for quality and good acting — maybe even a hint of production value — hating B-grade creature features as the unimaginative works of trash that they are. If you aren’t one of those people, maybe you’ll find this review useful.

As the story goes, a team of researchers head up near a ski resort in Canada to study lynx, an endangered species which they track every Winter. Unbeknownst to the researchers, someone something beat them to the lynx and it’s still hungry. As always, chaos ensues. Written by Brittany Wiscombe and directed by Brian Brough, Snow Beast is just another in a long line of bad “direct-to-video” Yeti movies, but who cares?

Along the lines of “but who cares?”, the lead researcher, Jim, is played by John Schneider, the man who in recent years embraced the creature feature subgenre, all the while being Superman’s dad. The guy is hardcore, and always is a great presence on screen. Accompanying Schneider is Danielle Chuchran as his daughter, with Paul D. Hunt and Kari Hawker as his research partners. Jason London plays the local sheriff, and in true B-movie fashion, no-one is indispensable.

The Yeti is abominable… perhaps the ugliest Yeti I’ve ever seen. Credit where credit is due, however, as there is very little CGI. While ugly, this Yeti is Gregg Christensen in a costume, which is respectable for 2011. Again though, Snow Beast‘s Yeti isn’t scary at all — it’s just ugly. It doesn’t even have a face which a mother could love. Boo Sonja A. Nelson for such bad makeup/costume design, boo! I really hope that it wasn’t intentional.

(I’m sorry Ms. Nelson if the Yeti design wasn’t your fault. Someone has to take the fall though, and you’re listed as the most likely culprit on IMDb.)

The acting in Snow Beast isn’t great, but it’s not what you shouldn’t expect. In the context of everything, the actors are fine, and honestly the flick would be worse if the actors outshone it. And as I alluded to earlier, Schneider is entertaining in his role, and Chuchran works as his one-note, angry daughter.

If you choose to catch Snow Beast, be aware, that no character — main or secondary — is safe. Characters unexpectedly, and completely not-climatically, get killed. One moment they’re alive, and the next moment, not really. This flick feels like something right from the Syfy channel, and I was stunned to find out that it’s just another straight-to-video PG-13 production.

Speaking of, if you choose to pretend that Snow Beast is a Syfy production, it can be seen as pretty okay. And honestly, it’s fair to assume that it is. Schneider himself has worked on some Syfy/RHI flicks in the past and will probably work on more, and this flick seems very inspired by schlock which debuts on that channel. So go ahead, assume Snow Beast a Syfy Channel Original Movie — I won’t hold it against you.

All in all I dig Snow Beast. I understand that it isn’t a good film, and I understand that one doesn’t need to be a movie snob to hate it. But I’m a B-movie creature feature fan, and have been since I was a little kid. If you are as well, I’d recommend you catch Snow Beast if you have a Netflix account, as it was recently added there. If you don’t have a Netflix account and have change to waste, you can find it elsewhere.

See you tomorrow!

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