Edited to a crisp 82 minutes and set almost entirely within the walk-in appliance after which it's named, "Freezer" is an economical yet expansive thriller that kicks off immediately when Robert (Dylan McDermott, looking ripped) gets tossed inside.
An average Joe (who nonetheless makes short work of the plastic ties binding his wrists and ankles), he soon learns the motive for his abduction when two Russki heavies burst in looking for some missing money. Some $8 million, to be exact.
Is Robert more than he seems? Does he know more than he lets on? He's quite a savvy guy for just a regular mechanic suddenly caught up with the Russian mob; he's deft at accruing information despite not knowing a lick of his captors' language; and his story changes, constantly.
Robert's flirtation with abductress Alisa (Yuliya Snigir), who's barely in control of the situation, is punctuated by stabs of violence, but the greatest danger is always the cold. His breath may not cloud the chilly air, but otherwise McDermott convinces us that he's slowly freezing to death, helped by frosted facial hair and a rosy nose, ears and cheeks.
Directed by TV journeyman Mikael Salomon, "Freezer" is a snappy action flick that makes good use of its close confines.
"Freezer." MPAA rating: R for language and violence. Running time: 1 hour, 22 minutes. At Laemmle NoHo 7, North Hollywood. Also on VOD Jan. 21.