You're a writer, but you can't write. You've hit a wall. You have writer's block. So what do you do? Jack, a successful screenwriter has an interesting idea - method writing. It works for actors, so why wouldn't it work with writers?
To give this a try, Jack arranges to have himself locked in a remote meat cooler with just his imagination to inspire. The line between fiction and reality, however, quickly blur in the new thriller, Below Zero.
Edward Furlong plays Jack, the young, hot shot writer riding off the success of his one previous film, which we learn wasn't even very good in the first place. Jack's agent is the one that sets it up to have Jack locked in a meat cooler for five days to finish his script, if he doesn't, the agency will drop him.
Immediately, Jack regrets this decision.
From there the story takes on a multitude of twists and turns as Jack tries to write his script while facing his own demons. The setup is all I will give you, as anything more will take away from the enjoyment and spoil the film for you.
I have to point out I saw this film two times and I walked away from the second viewing appreciating the film much more. My first viewing was at the Phoenix Film Festival in which it was my seventh movie of the day. At that point I was pretty out of it and it was hard for me to follow. My second viewing was at the Arizona International Film Festival and it was my first film of the day and I think that made a world of difference.
The pacing worked better, the switching from what was real and what wasn't, it was all made clearer on that second viewing. I think this was more a result of seeing the film fresh rather than just seeing it a second time.
The script was written by Signe Olynyk, who actually did lock herself in the very meat cooler used in the film to write the script, did a terrific job of having the story weave in and out of fiction and reality. She left the audience guessing while never letting it get confusing. Plus she tosses in jokes and references that writers everywhere will be able to relate with.
Below Zero is a fantastic, dark and eerie thriller. Furlong turns in what I consider to be the performance of his career and horror favorite Michael Berryman is creepy as always in a great supporting role. If you want a horror film that makes you think with a cold and harsh feel, Below Zero is the film for you.