Let it Snow review – more snow than plot Weather outside is frightful

December 25, 2020
Alix Turner 0
Film, Film Reviews
2.5

Summary

Another film about staying alive in the wilderness, despite a single-minded baddie; this time, while snowboarding in Georgia. Great use of the stark location and the snow, but not a great deal of plot or excitement.

2.5

Summary

Another film about staying alive in the wilderness, despite a single-minded baddie; this time, while snowboarding in Georgia. Great use of the stark location and the snow, but not a great deal of plot or excitement.

There isn’t much to say about Let it Snow. It looks great, but under that sheen, it’s unfortunately insubstantial. It should be a survival/serial killer thriller, but it’s simply not exciting, and there isn’t enough depth to the plot.

Let it Snow is about a young couple, Max (Alex Hafner) and Mia (Ivanna Sakhno), who take a trip to the mountains of Georgia for some Christmas snowboarding. Their hotel receptionist warns them about the dangers of the area that Max is so excited about, known as Black Ridge – a warning reinforced by their helicopter pilot – but they go anyway. When their excursion is barely started, the pair become separated, and Mia encounters a stranger dressed all in black (of course) who doesn’t mean for either of them to get home.

The couple has believable chemistry, especially through the occasional flashbacks that develop a romantic tragedy angle. On the trip, Max does his best to impress Mia, while Mia is a little more risk-aware. Both play their parts with sincerity, though out of the two, we see Ivanna Sakhno for a much greater proportion of the film; and indeed, she is outstanding: Let it Snow gives her a much better showcase than Pacific Rim: Uprising did. Granted, for a good deal of the film she is simply freezing and stumbling, but her reactions to both, as well as to her isolation and fear, make me want to reach out and hug her.

As well as Sakhno, the other name I really want to praise is Yevgeny Usanov for his cinematography. Somehow, five days of trekking through snow and avoiding a baddie do not all look the same; and even with occasional foggy and twilight scenes, all the action is clear too. He takes full advantage of the few contrasts available, with steep rock faces, evening skies, and red roses (!) all captured beautifully. Along with the subtle music, this is almost enough to give Let it Snow some atmosphere.

If only there was more to the plot. Thanks to a prologue, there is little mystery. Surprisingly for a “slasher in the snow”, there’s actually not much violence either. When we are given a little background to the stranger’s motives, it’s too slight to even be called a back story. Still, this is writer/director Stanislav Kapralov’s first feature, and it’s rare to come across a film from that part of Europe – especially produced so well – so I’ll not rule out watching another from the same team.

Let it Snow will be available to rent/download from 4 January 2021.


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