Snowbound (2001)


Canada. 2001.


Director – Ruben Preuss, Screenplay – George Ferris, Producers – Michael Fristev & Chad Oakes, Photography – Brian Whittred, Music – Ron Sures, Special Effects Supervisor – Darcy Davis, Production Design – Bruce Gammell. Production Company – Nomadic Pictures/World International Network LLC


Erika Eleniak (Barbara Cates), Monika Schnarre (Liz Garnett), Peter Dobson (Gunnar Davis), Bill Mondy (Wiley H. Prebos), Jann Arden (Sarah Hodgkiss), Nark Smith (Sheriff Sam Wattress), Doug McGeah (Clay Thurman)


A masked mugger attacks Barbara Cates’s best friend and co-worker Liz Garnett in a parking lot. Barbara agrees to go away with Liz for a couple of days to help her recover from the shock. The two head up to a remote cabin that Liz has rented near Marshall Falls. Just as they arrive, the town and access roads are snowed over. Liz believes her former husband Dale, who has just been released from jail, is stalking them. Barbara sees a car following them and is threatened by a strange man. As they arm themselves against the stalker while trapped alone in the cabin, it becomes apparent that Liz is not entirely telling Barbara the truth about what is happening either.

Snowbound is a psycho-thriller from the Canadian production company World International Network LLC, who have made a number of other cable-released psycho-thrillers. It was directed by Ruben Preuss who has made several other minor thrillers including In Dangerous Company (1988), Write to Kill (1990), Dead on Sight (1994), The Art of Murder (1999) and The Cure for Boredom (2000), as well as one shabby ghost story Almost Dead (1994).

While a number of World International Network’s thrillers have been reasonable, Snowbound vanishes into a blandness. The situation in the cabin is generic and Ruben Preuss fails to wind it up with any tension. Certainly, the film does produce the odd surprise – like when Erika Eleniak is aided by a man (Bill Mondy) who helps start her vehicle and then sinisterly says “Tell your girlfriend her husband sends his love.” Most of the surprises are telegraphed way in advance – it is extremely easy to work out the identity of Monika Schnarre’s husband, while the final twist about the location of the money can be seen coming from ten miles away.

Snowbound also has the misfortune to be miscast with two dull lead actresses – former Playboy Playmate and Baywatch (1989-2001) regular Erika Eleniak and Canadian model/actress Monika Schnarre, who is probably best known as The Sorceress in the tv version of The Beastmaster (1999-2001). Monika Schnarre, in particular, has the perfect good looks, body and complexion of a fashion model – but with her wide mouth and cold blue eyes also has all the depth of an android. At least, Peter Dobson has handsome, boy-next-door looks and makes for a convincing change-about to a dangerous psychopath in mid film. Despite much talk of a snowstorm and even the title ‘snowbound’, we never see any such storm.

Actors: , , , , , ,
Themes: , ,