Valhalla throws out the traditional ski film blueprint. Presented as a fictitious biopic of sorts, the film follows a free skier (Cody Barnhill playing “Conrad”) as he travels in his buggy from the loneliest of deserts to a remote, powder covered ski community called “Valhalla” in order to recapture the simplicity of his childhood joy. There, he finds like-minded souls, and eccentric characters alike. Conrad, the film’s narrator, introduces “Valhalla” as a sanctuary for people who have been, “swept aside by aside society.” In this way, some critics might argue the film wanders into the slippery clichés of ski bums and hippies. However, in reality, the community and its tribe provide the perfect backdrop for a free skiers’ dream.
Conrad and his band of misfits never cease to entertain, and most especially on the backcountry trails of British Columbia. In one of the more hilarious scenes of the film, tons of naked skiers and boarders descend upon the mountain, riding the lifts, cruising down the hill, and doing backflips and spread eagles off jumps. Even when the snow melts, the action continues in this strange world, as skiers take out their twin tips on the leaves and moss in the final scene. All of these clips are mixed in with psychedelic visuals that make you wonder if Valhalla is a ski movie or an acid trip.
If you are looking for more from a ski movie, directors Nick Waggoner and Ben Sturgulewski along with their crew of skiers and boarders offer you everything you want and more with this film. Valhalla is a must see.
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