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Society of the Snow Movie Review

Society of the Snow [La sociedad de la nieve] (2023)

Watch Society of Snow on Netflix // Buy the book (paid link)
Written by: J.A. Bayona and Bernat Vilaplana & Jaime Marques & Nicolás Casariego (screenplay by), Pablo Vierci (based on the book “La Sociedad de la Nieve” by)
Directed by: J.A. Bayona
Starring: Enzo Vogrincic, Agustín Pardella, Matías Recalt
Rated: R
Watch the trailer

The flight of a rugby team crashes on a glacier in the Andes. The few passengers who survive the crash find themselves in one of the world’s toughest environments to survive.

This is a harrowing tale, and knowing that it actually happened provides an even bigger impact. Survival movies are so engrossing because it puts you in that situation as you wonder what you would do and how you’d struggle to survive. It’s not an easy watch, but it strives to recreate what happened in the Andes mountains.
Watch It.

Directed by J.A. Bayona, he also directed Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. I’m a fan of the plane crash and survive survival sub genre. This is based on the actual event, the Uruguayan 1972 Andes flight disaster.

This doesn’t waste much time getting into the plot. College aged rugby players plan a trip to the Philippines. During the flight they discuss how the Andes mountains cause turbulence and then the plane ride becomes terrifying. All of their exuberance quickly evaporates as they strap in and the plane violently shakes.

Unsurprisingly, the plane goes down and they’re stuck in the mountains with no supplies. After the first night of freezing temperatures, they’re aren’t many survivors left. They’re elated when they see a plane, but it doesn’t return. They face the rule of threes in survival: three minutes without air, three hours without shelter, and three days without water.

While they weather in the plane, it’s a temporary stay. Their only hope is a radio in the tail section of the plane at the top of the mountain, but they soon give up. The terrain is treacherous and they realize they can’t see the crash site even half way up the mountain. They’re slowly dying. I wondered about the dark urine, but that’s a symptom of severe dehydration. After six days their meager food stores are gone. There’s only one thing left to eat.

We see a moment in the plane during a storm where the survivors are nearly content, given the conditions. Then we hear something, and I knew it was an avalanche. The moment we hear it and the moment it hits the plane seems so much longer. The plane is engulfed in snow, trapping them inside the plane.

There’s such a contrast from when we first saw the rugby team to now. They’re emaciated, near death. This movie is bleak but well done and authentic. With this type of movie, you put yourself in the situation. You consider the decisions they make, thinking about what you would do. Three of them decide to hike to Chile for help. Is it even possible to survive? They leave behind people at the plane, and even if the three guys can get help will the people they left behind still be alive.

Production is amazing. It really looks like the Andes. I’d guess the background is CGI, but it looks like they’re trudging through the snow. It’s a harrowing movie. My only issue is that the title doesn’t do it any favors. While it’s named after the book, it sounds like some kind of school club.


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