Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

When I received the DVD for ‘Wind Chill’ I was a little surprised that this film somehow skirted Direct to Video and managed to get a slight theatrical release.  Now I usually get to catch most theatrical releases, no matter how slight, so I’m assuming that this one never made it to my neck of the woods.  This got me thinking about the business of movies, which I completely don’t understand.  Why would Sony Pictures even bother releasing this film to theaters and then give it absolutely no support?  I also don’t know how much money these movies have to make to fall in the black.  ‘Wind Chill’ couldn’t have cost too much money with its limited sets and relatively unknown cast, but I’m sure it cost more to make than its Box Office take of less the fifty grand leading me to think it should have just been released to DVD from the get go since that’s how it’s going make any money anyway.  But I’m no movie executive though.

The Lovely Emily Blunt, last seen as the snooty British bitch in ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ plays just a snooty bitch, sans accent, who is given no name for us to call her.  She sits in her college level class all pissed off about something and it looks like she’s going to have to catch the bus home to Delaware during the Christmas holiday.  Sadly for me, seeing Emily looking all bitchy and fine, it was clear that if there was to be nudity in this horror movie (there wasn’t) it wouldn’t be from her since she’s the Hero Girl and all.  I’m serious, if I ever make a horror flick my Hero Girl is going to be a total bed hopping slut.  She’s gonna stay naked with the only requirement for getting her in the bed is just asking for it politely.  That’s what I’m gonna do.  Anyway fortunately for our college girl there is an opportune posting on the bulletin board from a guy making a trip to Delaware and not wanting to go Greyhound she jumps on the chance.  We can tell right away that College Boy (Ashton Holmes) is a little off, but though his ride is beat up and a little junky it beats the bus and off they go.

The trip starts out okay, despite the fact that College Girl is truly a monumental pain in the ass, but things take a turn for the worse when College Boy decides to take a detour off the freeway on to a snowy road which leads to our couple getting run off the road.  College Girl is in full freak out mode convinced that College Boy is some kind of crazed lunatic, but college boy tries to assure her that he is nothing of the sort.  Then things start getting strange as there are these weird frozen dead people walking down this deserted road who I suggest you don’t touch, and there is also a abusive, violent, murderous racist cop (is there any other kind) who is driving up and down this road for the sole purpose of terrorizing our unnamed couple.  The challenge for this pair is just to make it to morning and then everything will be all right.  But with sub zero temperatures, walking frozen dead people, a busted ride, and a Krazy Kop on patrol– I’m not liking their chances.

There are a couple of cool things going on in ‘Wind Chill’, one of which being director Gregory Jacobs' fine use of the claustrophobic environment of the car that our heroes are trapped in.  Because of the good photography and creative use of atmosphere you can almost feel the cold, and the claustrophobic feeling translates quite well to the viewer since we can no more see outside the frosted windshield than our actors can.  Plus is there anything eerier than staticky AM radio?  I don’t think so.  Especially when there are dead Catholic priests floating around outside your car.  Both young actors did a fine job in their respective roles, considering that they had to carry the entire film with dialog and reactions to things we cant see being their only weapons to work with.  Emily Blunt in particular was such an insufferable bitch throughout this film that it is to her testament she was able to gradually change her ways and garner some sympathy from the audience, though the evil ice monster might have also assisted in changing her tone.

But despite the fine performances and the nice use of atmosphere, ‘Wind Chill’ is still a difficult film to completely get behind because there just isn’t much there.  It’s creepy without being scary, our two leads are a bitch and a stalker with neither generating a hell of a lot good will towards them, and the supernatural aspects of the narrative are a bit confusing.  For instance there was a scene early in the film where our heroine was locked in the gas station bathroom and was hearing voices, a scene that as far as I could tell had no bearing on anything, and the people in the gas station were subsequently creepy, again leading to nothing except that they happened to be creepy.  And not even a perfunctory explanation was given for what caused this time / space / freeze warp.  Just accept it and move on.

Though I wasn’t too terribly entertained by ‘Wind Chill’ it is at least a film that had nobody getting tortured or dismembered in it.  It also received and ‘R’ rating upon its initial release though there was no blood or no nudity or anything that I don’t think justifies it receiving that rating.  ‘Disturbing Imagery’ is the reason it says.  Watching Johnny Depp in ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ was a disturbing image and it didn’t get an ‘R’ rating.  Anyway, ‘Wind Chill’ isn’t neither bad nor is it great but it does have enough ‘disturbing imagery’ to at least garner a looksee. 

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