Frostbite starts promisingly with Nazis in the frozen north encountering something supernatural in a house. This suggests we are in for something akin to The Keep (1983) or the spate of World War II supernatural films we had a few years ago The Bunker (2001), Below (2002), Deathwatch (2002). Although, once Frostbite arrives in the modern day, it abandons this and becomes something very different in tone. The bulk of the plot follows three different story strands Petra Nielsen as the doctor/mother discovering that the hospital head whose research she admires (Carl-Åke Eriksson) is a vampire; a resident (Jonas Karlström) as he takes one of the doctors pills and transforms into a vampire; and Petra Nielsens teenage daughter (Greta Havnesköld) who is invited to a party where the partygoers take the pills and transform into vampires en masse.
The problem with Frostbite is that director Anders Banke seems unsure whether he is making a straight horror film or is wanting to turn it into a black comedy. A muted sense of black humour runs through the film. This becomes especially potent when Jonas Karlström starts encountering talking dogs, including an hilarious scene with his girlfriends dog telling him Youre going to burn. There is also a moderately effective scene where Karlström goes to his girlfriends parents place for dinner, only to find that her father is a minister and he cannot shake hands, that he is unable to say grace at the dinner table and then that the meal is sea bass cooked in garlic, forcing him to run away, whereupon he is next seen in the hallway devouring the familys pet rabbit. At other times, you are not certain if scenes are intended as black humour or not. There are some appealingly surreal images like the house with the vampiric teenagers crawling all around the outside; or the bizarre scene where the man walking his dog stops by a lamppost for it to pee, the dog is lifted up from off-screen, drained of its blood and then flung back. Frostbite needed more of these scenes.
Anders Bankes development of the film is far too laidback by half the film needs a snappier tightness, which you would certainly get if Frostbite were an American production. It often feels like the film is driven more by the characters reacting to situations than it necessarily is by a plot that is going somewhere. There are some effective effects scenes with the vampires crawling around ceilings and walls, although the full body version of the Beckert vampire looks uneven. The movement between the various parallel plotlines is denoted by distracting wipes across the scene and often come inopportunately timed in terms of a scenes pacing. Despite moments, Frostbite feels like it should have been either much funnier or sharper than it is.