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Brain Freeze Movie Review

Written by Joanna K. Neilson

Released by Blue Finch Releasing

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Written and directed by Julien Knafo
2021, 91 minutes, Rated 15 (UK)
Frightfest International Premiere on 27th August 2021

Starring:
Iani Bédard as André
Roy Dupuis as Dan
Marianne Fortier as Patricia
Anne-Élisabeth Bossé as Josée
Claudia Ferri as Camila

Review:

Peacock Island is the swanky home to Quebec’s much-despised noveaux-rich. Out on their isolated paradise, they live it up in huge faux-Chateauxs, while hard-working nannies take care of their alienated children. Meanwhile, the parents work out and swig kale smoothies. But most of all, the wealthy residents love to golf, even in the depths of Quebec’s relentless winter snow. So, just how do they keep nature from interrupting their favourite pastime?

Enter the sleazy Biotech firm that keeps the greens, well, green. Unnaturally so. And, like all good disasters, the toxic mess quickly escalates into a full-scale contamination. Now, you can easily draw a straight line from this to the Crazies (either version!), as a lethally tainted water supply quickly zombifies the hapless islanders, with just a few lucky souls able to maintain their humanity long enough to, perhaps, survive and even get rescued.

brain freeze 01 brain freeze 02

Of course, aside from the zombified residents, there’s a much more dangerous threat behind it all. Instead of the Government, it’s the Umbrella-esque conglomerate, who’ll do anything to maintain their image and keep the tame career politicians in their pocket. So it’s not exactly subtle about its politics and if 2020 taught us anything, it’s that all this isn’t so far from the likely reaction. And it was impossible to look out at the deserted streets during the first lockdown and NOT immediately think The Last of Us, especially when Brain Freeze begins to emulate the iconic game’s gruesome body-horror.

brain freeze 03 brain freeze 04

But none of that takes away from how good Brain Freeze really is. It looks totally gorgeous. The opening scenes alone, where the deadly agent is sprayed onto the plush golf-course by hazmat-suited workers, are strikingly pretty. The fresh dynamic of a brother reluctantly taking care of his baby sister is also a pleasant change from the usual, predictable bunch of cookie-cutter survivors, with many genuine surprises about how it all plays out.

brain freeze 05 brain freeze 06

So, is it worth watching one more zombie flick? Well, there are plenty of fun, trashy zombie films out there and plenty of really bad ones that never hit the spot. Happily, Brain Freeze is way up in the top tier of undead films. It is great to feel genuinely invested in how the characters could escape their bleak situation. It also has a genuine social anger behind it that, frankly, most of the better films in the genre do tend to have. Even so, it’s not afraid of some playfully camp moments, and any po-faced moralising gets undercut almost immediately.

If you want a little more brains mixed in with your gore, this is well worth tucking into. But it’s also a bloody good zombie film. Highly recommended.

Grades:

Movie: 5 Star Rating Cover
Buy Amazon Uk

About The Author
Joanna K. Neilson
Staff Reviewer - UK
Favourite film ever watched is Alien (1979), but usually prefers to ingest her horror with a dollop of comedy relief…though the dusty charm of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1971) and the black and white lure of Psycho (1960) continues to draw her in. Found Baskin weirdly hilarious. Finds Finding Nemo godawful. Adores H.P. Lovecraft and has sort-of pilgrimed to his grave in Providence - very tidy. Very long walk. Half-expected cats and cultists to be set up all around it but sadly, just signs saying ‘no photos’ in the cemetery.
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