Wind Chill Reviews
I'm a huge fan of Emily Blunt, and I enjoy horror movies to the point that even the mediocre ones are usually worth me checking out. Both of those things are fortunate, because Wind Chill is a mostly average horror movie that really is only worthwhile for fans of Blunt.
Wind Chill is a supernatural horror flick, but you'd be forgiven for not drawing that conclusion from the first 30 or 45 minutes or so of the movie. It initially seems like it could be a thriller, as one stranger gives another one a ride home for college during the Christmas break, and he appears to be lying to her about several things, including his rather unhealthy obsession/infatuation with her. Then they have a car accident on a deserted snowy road, and the movie shifts gears again and seems to be about them trying to survive being stranded alone in the cold and ice. That goes on for a while, and then we finally get to the (somewhat underwhelming) ghost story.
If Wind Chill commits one real sin, it's the fact that it's mostly boring. There's nothing scary about it. There is a bit of a mystery behind what happens to our two characters that makes the film a bit more involving as it goes on, but the horror part never "clicks".
Anyway, there were some interesting ideas here, and I applaud that Wind Chill didn't just copy and paste the good parts of horror movies that came before, like modern scary movies so often do. And Emily Blunt was definitely gorgeous, and carried her role in the movie quite well. But, I find it hard to give this movie anything more than just a "fair" rating, because it's just not frightening on a psychological, visceral, or any other level.
DIRECTED BY: Gregory Jacobs
SUMMARY: Two college students share a ride home for the holidays. When they break down on a deserted stretch of road, they're preyed upon by the ghosts of people who have died there.
MY THOUGHTS: Not as good as I was hoping, but interesting none the less. It was spooky and had it's creepy moments, but failed to be scary for me. But did keep me interested till the end. Worth the watch, just don't expect much from it. Thought Emily and Ashton were good, and it really depended on their acting considering they are the main focus throughout the film. Take a look at it if you haven't.
Two college students share a ride home for the holidays. When they break down on a deserted stretch of road, they're preyed upon by the ghosts of people who have died there.
Not a bad, little film. A fairly tight script that relies heavily on the two main characters (Emily Blunt being the better of the two, and I look forward to seeing more of her), and they don't disappoint. The film never quite lives up to its early promise and it just misses on getting the hairs on the back of your neck to stand up. The explanation for all the "goings on" are perhaps not pointed out well enough, and the character with the eel issuing from his mouth seemed as if he belonged in a different film altogether. There were a few parts of the story that seemed a bit incongruous and that could have been improved upon, but overall it's a very worthy effort at creating a film that veers more towards suspense than actual horror.
I don't think Wind Chill even intended to be a generic bang-for-your-buck teen horror. It's different. The setting is evocative and the most frightening part of the movie, and the characters forced into it are dynamic. They don't seem like much at first, but they grow into genuinely interesting people who you wish the best for. Special mention goes to Emily Blunt for this feat, who is simply excellent in her role. It's just a shame that these strengths feel totally wasted in a pedantic, stupid narrative. The initial eeriness of the movie melts away when one lost soul spits up an electric eel (which is never explained, by the way); there are no frightening properties to electric eels; the movie surrenders almost all of its fear factor there. But then they throw in cultists. Cops with immediate control over time and space who inexplicably throw our heroes through wormholes. Haunted shacks with moving skeletons. And it's all fucking maddening because really, how are these things necessary? They're downright hokey for a movie that simply didn't call for it.
The back of the DVD box makes no indication that there are any supernatural elements in this movie. This is a smart marketing decision. The possibility of being stalked by some insane trucker outside of your snowbound, immobile car is far more scary than all of the things we see in Wind Chill, and that's why the movie just doesn't work. Not to mention there are at least four different points where it should end and simply refuses to. It finally settles on an okay note, but something smells oddly of reshooting.
My final word on Wind Chill: botched.
Starring: Emily Blunt, Ashton Holmes.
This film I bet will hardly be seen by many people, as it is a strangely limited release and will probably appear onto DVD if they don't expand the release, its a film that I could have very easily given a 4.5 rating (my highest rating), but it suffers from only one problem.....
A terrible script.....OK, not quite that bad, the plot is simple, familiar but interesting, it does follow formula for the most part and thankfully the film offers some interesting plot points and ideas, but the characters are just terrible. The screenwriters appear like this is there first writing draft straight out of high school, without any deep knowledge of building characters effectively, they introduce them from a wrong angle and they end up to be very dull and poorly underdeveloped....and when they once again, attempt to develop these characters, its too basic and by then, we just don't care.
But away from that one bad point, there are many other brilliant elements. Gregory Jacobs direction, a man who is only known as a Second Unit director for Steven Soderbergh, does his second directional attempt here and by god is it impressive. He keeps in mind what can truly make a psychological thriller/horror effective and that is thick atmosphere, slow, chilling tension and doesn't rely on cheap scares, he uses very few to get the audience's attention (2:32am is all I'll say), but he does it so effectively with slow tension to make it sudden and you never get chance to slow your heartrate down before the chills start again. From there, what came as one hell of a surprise was seeing Clint Mansells name at the beginning of the film as the films composer, the man behind the epic Requiem for a Dream score, the score for this film is amazingly beautiful, haunting and truly chilling, its one of the best horror scores in the past 10 years and it is very effective. And last, but not least, is Emily Blunts performance, although her character is very dull and underdeveloped, she keeps us engrossed with her very solid and controlled performance, she is an amazing actress and is forming into something great.
So there you have it, if you ever see this film at your local cinema, do yourself a favor (if you love effective horror films) and see it, the scripts characters are terrible and dull and the attempt at development is very basic and poorly done, but we are kept engrossed with Gregory Jacobs amazing direction, Clint Mansells outstanding score and Emily Blunts brilliant performance. With slow, chilling tension and a creepy atmosphere, this is one hell of an effective psychological thriller/horror film that could have been the best english speaking one in a decade, if it hadn't been for the poor script.