The Frozen Ground
Film: The Frozen Ground
Director: Scott Walker
Writer: Scott Walker
Starring: Nicholas Cage, Vanessa Hudgens and John Cusack
This film begins inside of a cheap motel. A woman is screaming inside of a room, she is played by Vanessa Hudgens. The police are called in and she is found handcuffed. They are shocked by what they find and take her down to their station.
She is accusing a man in the community of raping her, holding her hostage and then wanting to kill her. She claims to have escaped from him. The man in question is John Cusack. He runs a bakery, is married and has children. The police have a hard time believing her since she is a prostitute. They believe she has been doing drugs. There is a cop who believes her though since this is not the first time Cusack has been accused of this. He is told to sit on it and he states that it isn’t his concern. He takes all the information that has been complied from Hudgens’ case and the other similar cases. He sends it to the state police.
We shift to another police officer. He is played by Nicholas Cage. He is married to Radha Mitchell. He is on his last week on the force and they are in the process of moving. Mitchell is telling Cage he needs to write the check for the movers so they can do their job. He kind of ignores it and goes to work.
From here we see a woman who is getting ready and telling her sister that she is going to a model photo shoot, the woman is played by Gia Mantegna. Her sister is leery about it, but she tells her not to worry. She takes her sister’s necklace before leaving. She meets up with the man in his truck.
We learn that this woman is missing. The package from the other police arrives and Cage’s boss, who is played by Dean Norris, gives him the case. He throws a fit that it is his last week and Norris tells him to solve it fast. He begins to investigate what he can from the evidence and interviews the sister of the missing woman. He notices there is a pattern.
Cage begins to go through missing persons cases that fit the profile of this one. He also begins a search for Hudgens. She on the other hand is back on the streets. Her pimp is played by Curtis ’50 Cent’ Jackson. She avoids him though and goes to work inside of a strip club. She makes friends with Jodi Lyn O’Keefe. She really isn’t a good friend as she introduces her to crystal meth, which helps her get on stage.
We then learn that man doing all this is Cusack. His wife and kids go out of town to her parent’s house, he stays behind. We see that he goes about his usual day, while he has Mantegna locked in his basement. He has raped her and she is chained to a pole. She begs for her life and we see that there is something wrong with Cusack.
Cage finally finds Hudgens with the help of a vice cop, played by Michael McGrady, and tries to get her to work with him to find who did this. She knows who he is, but the police didn’t believe her at first, so why would they now? Cage does what he can to gain her trust, even by bringing her to his house. Mitchell doesn’t like this and causes Hudgens to flee.
Cusack also knows that Hudgens is alive and is looking for her. He hires a man, played by Brad William Henke, to find her. He is seedy underground mobster who is good at finding people. He comes to Jackson, telling him that he finds her, his debt is forgiven.
Cusack takes care of Mantegna in one of his hunting places. Cage knows he is the one doing it, but can he prove it? Can he keep Hudgens alive to help him put him away? Or will Cusack get to her first and silence her forever?
I really like that this film is based on a true story. It is crazy that no one could figure out what Cusack’s character did for as long as he did it. I believe the acting is really solid from everyone. The stars play their roles very well and the supporting characters add to the overall product. It builds tension well to the conclusion which is satisfying.
The only drawback I can point out is that it is forced to follow the truth, since it is based on real events, but I do not think it hurts this film. I was leery about Hudgens try to play this type of role, but I think she is growing into a great actress. I want to see what she goes on to do after this one.
I would recommend this film if you are into depictions of true crime. The acting is good, the story is solid and it doesn’t drag on. As I said, it is based on a true story so it does have to follow the events that happened. I don’t think that holds this film back and it definitely is worth a viewing. If you want to see a great investigation film, I would recommend this one as well.
My Rating: 7 out of 10