COLD MEAT (2023) Review by Steve Kirkham

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COLD MEAT (2023)

3 stars
Signature Entertainment. Digital platforms. Out Now

A drone shot drifts slowly over a snowy forest landscape – the opening voiceover speaks of a Native American legend of evil spirits that come out of the woods. ‘…a wandering soul, seeking human flesh’. A werewolf perhaps or Wendigo?

It’s nearly Christmas time. The weather is closing in.

Ana (Nina Bergman) is a waitress at a roadside diner. The cook has just left due to the incoming storm, so she is about to close up. Bespectacled and slightly nerdy David (Allen Leech) is her last customer. He looks on as her angry husband Vincent (Yan Tula)arrives and starts harassing her. David interjects which riles up Vince even more, but he manages to talk him down as it were, and he leaves without any violence erupting.

Later, the still angry Vince, spots David stopped at a gas station and as he leaves follows him. Thankfully he manages to lose the disgruntled hubby but, by now, the blizzard is in full force, and David skids off the road ploughing into a snow bank and becoming completely stuck. Inevitably, otherwise this would be a very short movie, there is no phone signal to call for help – as the white stuff begins to build up and bury the car, he is faced with being completely trapped and potentially freezing to death. Does he go outside and try and find help or does he stay there and hope someone finds him?

All is not as it seems. What are the noises he can hear? What is out there prowling in the sub zero temperatures? Also the seemingly meek David has a dark secret… to say more would spoil the the twists and turns in this taut thriller

Sebastien Drouin, in his feature directing debut (he is better known as a visual effects supervisor), make good use of a limited setting to wring tension from the situation. You can feel the chill, with a well constructed script written by Drouin with Andrew Desmond and James Kermack, which takes some unexpected turns in this fight for survival and is well acted by the small cast. Drouin also edited the movie. Unfortunately, it overstretches it’s premise and also promises a menace that isn’t fully realised and hence disappoints.

Steve Kirkham