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‘The Frozen Ground’

by Kaori Shoji

Based on a serial-killer spree in Anchorage, Alaska, in the late 1970s/early ’80s, “The Frozen Ground” draws solid performances from an A-list cast but somehow falls short on terror. Writer/director Scott Walker is careful to maintain a dark, understated mood that blends in quite effectively with the bleak, wintry setting, but the story seems to suffer from symptoms of hypothermia — like everyone is just too cold to care much about the bunch of missing young women who turn up dead in the wilderness.

The Frozen Ground
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State trooper Jack Halcombe (Nicolas Cage) supposedly cares, because he’s seen one too many mutilated bodies, and catching the killer has become an obsession. Halcombe has a suspect: Robert Hansen (John Cusack), a family man respected in the local community. But it’s impossible to build a case against him without the help of the one victim who got away. Trouble is, Cindy (Vanessa Hudgens, “Spring Breakers”) is a teenage prostitute with attitude issues and the police have her down as a liar. It’s up to Halcombe to persuade her to work with him and nail Hansen before the next victim turns up. If only he could be a bit more enthusiastic about it.

For a chance to win one of three pairs of tickets to see “The Frozen Ground,” visit jtimes.jp/film.