I can’t necessarily explain why, but I’ve always been a huge fan of franchises in the horror genre. The more sequels in a series, the better, I say. This is especially true in the current state of horror, or film in general really, where everything and anything is being given the remake treatment. Thankfully, instead of getting a Tremors reboot, we continue to receive films that expand the lore originally created almost 30 years ago with the release of the first installment. The latest in that expansion? Don Michael Paul’s Tremors: A Cold Day in Hell.
As the world’s only Graboid hunter, Burt Gummer (Michael Gross, Tremors) is once again called upon to save the day. This time, Burt and his son, Travis (Jamie Kennedy, Scream 2), make their way to the Canadian Arctic where the creatures have been re-awakened after millions of years of being dormant. The difference this time around, however, is that Burt has fallen ill due to his many encounters with the beasts over the last three decades. Now, before it’s too late, Travis must take charge and, with his new team, capture a Graboid alive to obtain the antibodies necessary to cure his old man.
The duo of Michael Gross and Jamie Kennedy return once again for the newest sequel in the famous creature-feature franchise, Tremors: A Cold Day in Hell. I really enjoy watching these two together, as their not-so-father-and-son relationship unfurls on screen — Gross’ “Burt” always being so damn serious about everything, while Kennedy’s “Travis” is lighthearted and always cracking jokes. Their dynamic is great and I was happy to see it again after their first coupling from 2015’s Tremors 5: Bloodlines. I am still extremely surprised at how much I enjoy Jamie Kennedy in these films; I was so used to his comedy bordering on the side of annoying that I really didn’t know what to expect when he was first announced to be joining the cast. I couldn’t have been proven more wrong with his character actually giving me more than a couple of out-loud chuckles throughout both Bloodlines and now A Cold Day in Hell.
While Gross and Kennedy are clearly the reason fans came back for another go, I can’t discount the rest of the cast. The performers who round out the crew are all new to the Tremors universe, but they all do a tremendous job creating unique characters that the audience can really get behind. One new character, Valerie, played by Jamie-Lee Money, is actually the most interesting because she is the daughter of none other than Valentine McKee — the character played by Kevin Bacon 27 years ago in the original Tremors movie. Fans, like myself, have been waiting for some more connections with the older films in the series, and this one was a very welcome one. Bravo to writer, John Whelpley, and director, Don Michael Paul!
One of my biggest fears for a straight-to-home-release Tremors film in 2018 is poor CGI effects. It is a very big possibility and, in my eyes, would totally ruin what this franchise has been for so many years. Luckily, the sixth installment in the series, Tremors: A Cold Day in Hell, is still going strong with some awesome creature FX. While the creatures are created digitally for about 95% of the film, they look impressive enough that it’s A-okay in my book. Plus, the other 5% that are done with good old practical effects look fantastic, as well. The icing on the cake, however, is the final act’s giant puppeteered Graboid head, another throwback to the original film, that is sure to get longtime fans really excited.
Tremors: A Cold Day in Hell is a fun modern-day creature feature with enough connections to the old films to keep the nostalgia meter more than half full. The effects are impressive with awesome looking Ass-Blasters and Graboids and tons of explosions, the acting is great, and the script does a wonderful job of continuing on the Tremors legacy. If you’ve enjoyed the rest of the entries in the 30-year-old franchise, you’ll enjoy this one, too.
Be sure to pick up your copy on Blu-ray, DVD, or Digital this Tuesday, May 1 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. The home release includes a bunch of behind-the-scenes featurettes that you won’t want to miss.
I give Tremors 6 4 half-eaten testicles out of 5.