Coming at an almost perfect timing point, with Swine Flu scares running across the US and an almost 'too trendy for its own good' focus on Global Warming and being green, "The Thaw" is a perfect combination of these two concepts. The idea of a pandemic that is created when glacial melting releases a prehistoric infestation of 'bugs' couldn't be more relevant to today's society. And honestly, "The Thaw" does a great job of balancing this end of the world scenario with enough personal and character work to make it a just story driven enough. I was definitely surprised with the quality of work here.
Now I'm not saying that "The Thaw" doesn't have its flaws...as it does and they become apparent towards the end, but I was pleasantly surprised with the stoutness of this movie. It's a pretty basic story we've seen before as a group of people (this time ecology students on their way to study with the infamous and somewhat offbeat man of the hour Val Kilmer) are isolated into a situation with these deadly 'bugs' as they struggle to quarentine themselves and find a way out. It's classic isolation horror (ergo "John Carpenter's The Thing" with its 'no you're infected!' subplot) with just enough touch of current events to make it unique. Although the pacing is solid enough throughout, some of the odd jumps in logic for the sake of the pacing and story movement did hinder it. I'm sorry but in that situation I would have killed that Feddy kid (whom tries to only save his own skinny ass multiple times) and fed his ass to the bugs. And the why the other characters make logic of his motives felt a little forced. Happens a few times throughout and it was a bit frustrating.
The special effects were spot on (even some of the low budget CGI insect work did its job perfectly) and even with some of its over the top acting performances (the main girl started to unnerve me a bit towards the end, but the helicopter pilot's nice work made up for it earlier) the solid story and nice pace of the film made up for most of it. Add in some nice directorial touches like the opening sequence of the film which I enjoyed, and "The Thaw" was surprisingly solid. Although it did run a bit off towards the end, I have to admit the big 'bang' towards the end did take me off guard, its initial run was strong enough. Not a perfect film, but a nice addition to my collection.
Written By Matt Reifschneider