Society of the Snow


According to statistics, travelling by aeroplane is still the safest way to travel. That might well be the case, but how many deaths have been reported by monorail for instance? Or canal boat? We’ve taken the number 18 bus to Baker Street over several years and it hasn’t crashed into smithereens yet.

For Spanish director J.A.Bayona’s latest film, he has us aboard an infamous flight across the Andes, where the on board meal was on the iffy side.

boom reviews Society of the Snow
It was only when they took their 'seat' on board they realised why it was so cheap.

It’s 1972 and looking forward to their trip to Chile is the Old Christian’s rugby team from Uruguay. They are a bunch of youngsters who make up the majority of the plane’s 40 passengers, with five crew on board.

Somewhere over the snowy Andes however, they fly into some choppy weather, and make a crash landing. The plane loses its tail end, along with a few passengers with it, leaving a number of survivors, who look forward to being rescued. But when they hear on the radio that the rescue party has been called off, their immediate survival looks very worrying indeed.

boom reviews Society of the Snow
And then he just melted before my eyes, my best freind Mr Frosty.

If Bayona’s film sounds familiar, then it’s possibly because the story was featured in Frank Marshall’s 1993 Alive. And to be fair, Bayona’s version isn’t starkly different from that one. It’s beautifully told however, and the young cast, mostly made up of fresh, new talent, are impressive as the survivors of the crash.

It is a film that invariably makes you wonder what you would do in a similar scenario, as you consider if you have that mettle needed to survive such an event, or indeed the stomach, as in this case. It’s certainly a testament to the courage and mental strength of those that faced such an ordeal, and the difficult decisions they had to make.

The one criticism perhaps, might be its duration, which at 2hr 23 mins, can induce the kind of restless leg syndrome found on long haul flights.

It has to be said however, that the crash scene itself, which defines the word ‘impact’ on some many levels, may well have you cancel your next flight to, well, anywhere.

Serving more as an update than a reboot to Alive, Bayona’s film is certainly an emotional ride, as it delves deep into what we’re actually prepared to do in order to survive, which for some, may well leave a bitter taste in their mouths.

we give this three out of five