Fears and suspense are at an all-time high in Netflix’s new feature film Society of the Snow which is based on the book of the same name by Pablo Vierci. Most people might have seen a version of this back in the ’90s when it was called Alive which was based on the Uruguayan 1972 Andes flight disaster. Film Director J.A. Bayona has done the world a service and has re-told this harrowing yet miracle of a story the right way in one of the year’s best movies.

Back in the ’90s with the movie Alive, Frank Marshall was the man behind the camera with Ethan Hawke starring in the movie along with many other American actors playing the roles of these South American people. Casting Uruguayan and Argentine actors, most of whom are unknown was the correct way to go and delivers a more nuanced and raw performance to this story of a Rugby team on their way home and crash-land in the middle of the Andes mountains in the dead of winter. It’s a truly scary experience, one where J.A. Bayona captures the intensity and true humanity that brings people together in dire situations.

Bayona (The Orphanage, A Monster Calls), who works closely with Guillermo Del Toro a lot of the time, jumps right into the action by showcasing the Rugby team playing a game and using their teamwork skills that are followed by all the fun laughs inside the locker room. These young men are all smiles and looking forward to seeing their families once they get home. The crash sequence in Society of the Snow is brutal. Alive back in the ’90s looked great, but this 2023 version is on another level and features some intense deaths that will stick with those who watch for days.

This real-life situation had the survivors of this crash stranded for more than three months, living off whatever was around, which was nothing, but human flesh and snow. If it wasn’t the crash that killed anyone, it was going to be the cold, avalanches, or infection that got them, but somehow, more than 16 people survived when two people went on a search for help after the winter months ended. Through narration by one of the early survivors of the flight disaster, the movie goes through these hardships one after the other where there is nothing but cold death staring this airbus of survivors in the face every day and night. But somehow, these friends come together and showcase that genuine humanity and kindness can save lives and ease someone else’s pain.

The poetry in motion throughout this film, especially in the final act is uncanny and beautiful where sequences of the plane are exposed to the real-life aftermath of these survivors and all the trauma they went through. The payoff is big and sweet where these actors who were on location turned in award-winning performances, all of which deserve praise. This is the ultimate way to view the story in the film medium. While the ’90s movie Alive captures only a fraction of these men’s journeys, Soctiey of the Snow inspires something better in human nature and captures almost all the good, bad, and ugly of what it was like for those survivors. Highest Recommendation!

Written by: Bryan Kluger

By Bryan Kluger

Former husky model, real-life Comic Book Guy, genre-bending screenwriter, nude filmmaker, hairy podcaster, pro-wrestling idiot-savant, who has a penchant for solving Rubik's Cubes and rolling candy cigarettes on unreleased bootlegs of Frank Zappa records.

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