Wind Chill - Review
Review by Jack Foley
THERE’S some pretty impressive credentials surrounding horror movie Wind Chill, which makes its ultimate failure all the more disappointing.
The film is produced by George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh and directed by Gregory Jacobs, whose debut, Criminal, proved an engaging conman caper.
It also boasts a nice American lead role for Britain’s Emily Blunt, who rises to the challenge in typically stylish fashion. But despite an intriguing set-up and the odd unsettling moment, the film eventually leaves viewers feeling distinctly underwhelmed.
The story picks up as two unnamed college students (Blunt and Ashton Holmes) decide to share a ride home for the holidays. It soon becomes clear that the guy has the hots for the girl and has set-up the situation to spend some time with her.
But once they veer off the highway and take a shortcut through the snowy mountains, they run into trouble after being forced off the road by another car and stranded in freezing weather.
Faced with a desperate enough battle for survival against the freezing elements, their situation worsens still further when they begin to encounter the spirits of previous motorists that have died there, including a murderous lawman (Martin Donovan).
Early on, Jacobs succeeds in creating a nice sense of impending disaster and makes the most of the claustrophobic confines of the car his characters find themselves stranded in.
He also deserves praise for exercising restraint in both his use of tacky shocks or unneccessary violence. The film in no way feels exploitative.
But the longer it continues, the less sense it makes and it soon becomes clear that the screenplay, by Joe Gangemi and Steven Katz, isn’t going to be able to offer the type of satisfactory resolution the set-up deserves. The ending is downright disappointing.
That said, Blunt and Holmes work well together as leads and their relationship is nicely developed, with the former, especially, underlining her leading lady credentials in the American market.
It’s just a shame that, in the final analysis, Jacobs’ film provides more wind than chill.
Running time: 91mins
UK DVD Release: May 5, 2008