90’s Christmas Horror Review – Jack Frost (1997)
My History With the Film:
My experience with Jack Frost in the 90’s was limited to admiring the awesome lenticular VHS box art. Horror movies really went all out in the 90’s with awesome lenticular covers, and while they looked amazing on the video store shelf, that usually was a sign that the film was absolute garbage.
I’ll admit, I’m picky about my horror comedy and I’m not a fan of the whole “let’s take something wholesome and make it evil” for irony sake. It just comes off too goofy most of the time and I’m not fan of intentionally bad movies. Despite all this, I decided to pick one Christmas horror film from the 90’s to review this year, and Jack Frost is the one I chose. I chose this for a few reasons:
1. It was streaming on Amazon Prime.
2. It has Shannon Elizabeth in it.
3. Mainly because it was streaming on Amazon Prime.
What The Film Is About (Non-Spoiler):
A freak accident genetically mutates a serial killer with a grudge into a snow man.
What I Liked About It:
-Jack Frost is obviously a low budget film with terrible special effects and acting. However, the cinematography is actually quite good and gives the film way more legitimacy than it deserves.
-I loved the use of classic Christmas songs throughout the score. It was done tastefully and humorously at times. One scene that comes to mind particularly is Shannon Elizabeth’s (13 Ghosts) tease as she slowly unbuttons her shirt to the soft tones of The Twelve Days of Christmas.
What I Didn't Like About It:
-There was no budget for the snow man special effects and for the most part they are portrayed by someone wearing a white snow man arm that looks like it’s made out of fleece.
-I feel like the script started off as a legit horror film and once they realize they didn’t have a budget, they infused comedy into the script in order to shield themselves from any mockery to come. It’s easy to laugh it off and say, “Well it’s not meant to be taken serious” when the film is so absurd.
-Scott MacDonald does the voice of Jack Frost and he seems to be channeling Brad Dourif’s Chucky voice, but a poor man’s version. It’s not good and his one liner’s don’t even come out well.
-The lack of real snow or convincing fake snow hurts the film. They are supposed to be snowed in, but only small patches of snow are around. The fake snow they use for snowballs and the snowmen is so terrible it’s obviously not snow. Also, they started to spray the windows of the cars with that fake frost stuff you see around Christmas time, but as the movie went on they got lazier and lazier about spraying the cars down.
-The film was shot in the winter of a drought year, so no real snow existed on the ground. Foam and cotton balls were used to simulate snow.
-One of Shannon Elizabeth’s first acting gigs.
-It was shot in just eighteen days.
-To save money, the film was shot on short ends (left over pieces of film from other projects).
-It was originally slated to be directed by Renny Harlin with a $30 million dollar budget.
-Spawned one sequel: Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman.
Jack Frost was more watchable than I thought it would be. Don’t get wrong, it’s absurd and a bad movie, but it’s not so bad its unwatchable the way Lover’s Lane was. I have no interest in seeing the sequel, but I wouldn’t mind seeing a legit killer snowman movie created by someone who can handle the idea and is able to make practical effects work.
I would rate Jack Frost a one and a half out of five and say it skip it, unless you love bad movies.