Horror Movie Review: The Cold (1984)

The Cold aka The Game sees three bored millionaires gather nine people in an old mansion to play a game. Stay on the grounds and be prepared to face their biggest fears. Conquer them, survive and they will be rewarded with one million dollars in cash.

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A made for VHS movie, director Bill Rebane has a fair few of these in his back catalogue now. The Cold is every bit the 80’s movie you would hope it to be along with a ton of 70’s styles and haircuts too. The cast are a veritable who’s who of nobodies and for good reason.

George (Stuart Osborne), Horace (Don Arthur) and Maude (Carol Perry) are three eccentric middle-aged millionaires who invite a random group of people to their sprawling country resort. Play their game of fear and survival and the contestants will win a million dollars.

Unsurprisingly, everyone is up for it and the next day, the games begin.

Face your fears? What could the peculiar hosts have in store for the likes of Jon (Tom Blair), Joe (Jim Iaquinta), (Pamela Roehler), Karen (Debbie Martin), Cindy (Lori Minneti) and others? It’s laughable stuff more akin to daytime TV pranks. We’re talking about spiders in bedrooms, sharks in the swimming pool, an obviously fake skeleton in the cupboard, a sauna that locks from the outside and turns cold… it’s childish stuff but charmingly entertaining.

Although nothing we see looks particularly death defying, characters begin to disappear until only a few remain. What is the true motive behind the game and can anyone actually win it? It really wants to keep you guessing and it will. However, the plot makes no sense and come the ending, nothing is really cleared up. You won’t see it coming because nobody could, it’s that impossible to explain.

It’s such a silly film and the storybook narration (that rhymes) doesn’t help matters. Nor does the atrocious acting, visuals and scares. You should not expect Hollywood levels of glamour here but even then, some of what is witnessed will surprise just because of how bad it is.

Regardless of all that though, it’s a fun movie that feels like a snapshot of a time period.




The Cold
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