24th Dec2020

‘Let It Snow’ VOD Review

by Kevin Haldon

Stars: Ivanna Sakhno, Alex Hafner, Tinatin Dalakishvili | Written by Stanislav Kapralov, Omri Rose | Directed by Stanislav Kapralov

Mia and Max are young couple who love nothing more than snowboarding. Max has brought Mia to a resort that has an infamous slope with the intentions of proposing to his love. Upon arriving they are warned off going to the slope by the creepy eyebrow-less receptionist. Unfazed by the lack of eyebrows and over abundance of creepiness our couple head to the slopes and because “movies” it’s all about to go horribly wrong. After being seemingly attacked by a leather clad jet ski rider, Mia finds herself separated from Max and must now battle the elements and her attacker if she is to survive.

Don’t let the title of this movie fool you, we are not in Christmas territory here, there is no Santa Claus and don’t expect to see any snowmen… Well actually maybe one snowman. I always say when it comes to low-budget movies, as long as you do the small stuff right then the rest of your movie should really fall into place. Make sure your script is tight, make sure you cast properly and get yourself a good DOP…. Golden! Let It Snow does two out of three here and we are going to get into them.

In terms of cinematography Let It Snow looks bloody incredible! I mean, is it really that hard to shoot a mountain that looks good? But the use of the wide shots to really show the expansive loneliness when Mia is on her own is just… beautiful. One of the big set pieces of the movie is an avalanche and the way these guys shot this has your heart in your throat.

Meanwhile our two leads are really strong, with an emphasis on Sakhno who is especially strong and really has a look of a person who has been through some sh*t by the end of the film. I enjoyed her moments of strength but also felt an honesty in her weaknesses. Hafner is decent, for the time he is in the movie, and the relationship between the two is put across nicely on screen. The creepy receptionist with no eyebrows is pretty good at being creepy and having no eyebrows (did she have eyebrows? Or am I misremembering this, just seems like something I really noticed, oh well) however this character comes across as an afterthought and adds little to the story.

Unfortunately it’s the story that let’s Let It Snow down somewhat. Now I didn’t need a massive great deal of story here to be fair but this movie fell into a little bit of a trap, because it wants to be a straight up horror/thriller and it hits the right tone in those moments; however it spends more time than you usually would at the beginning just getting to know the couple and by extension making the audience like them. Then throughout the chase scenes we have flashbacks of the couple interspersed throughout. I am well aware what the filmmaker is trying to achieve with this but it really shone a light on the fact that I had no clue why this was happening to them and by the end I honestly didn’t care… Then the explanation you get is basically the director looking at the camera and saying “Because Movies!”

For me the lead actress and DOP Yevgeny Usanov elevate this movie way beyond its potential, thankfully, because the story just kind of turns into a series of scenes that look pretty cool. Overall I have no real massive complaints and the ones I do have are fairly minor. It just seemed an opportunity had been missed to inject a touch more heart to the film instead of telling me the killer is doing all of this because they are just a bit of a tw*t.

Ultimately I’m on the fence with this one. Let It Snow made me care way to much about the leads (which any other time would be a  job well done) but I was left with zero empathy for anyone else and their motivations made little sense to me. By all means give this a watch but I guarantee it’s a one and done.

**½  2.5/5

Let It Snow is released digitally in the UK on January 4th 2021.

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