‘There are worse things than dying.’
Wind Chill is a 2007 horror thriller film directed by Gregory Jacobs from a screenplay by Joe Gangemi and Steven A. Katz. It stars Emily Blunt, Ashton Holmes and Martin Donovan.
A female student (“the girl”) at a Pennsylvania university uses the campus ‘ride share’ board to find a ride home to Wilmington, Delaware for Christmas. She joins a male student (“the guy”), who is driving home to Wilmington.
It soon transpires that she is arrogant and anti-social. He seems to know quite a lot about her, stating that they have a class together, although she has never noticed him.
They stop at an isolated gas station, where she hears him asking the clerk for directions, although he claimed to have driven the route many times. Setting off, he soon turns off the main highway down Route 606, a lonely snow-covered road through a wooded ravine which he claims is a short cut…
“The minimalist approach uses a simple setting, highlighted by some excellent photography that captures a moody isolation. This is punctuated with some low-key, yet disturbing images and some startlingly effective jumps that will jolt you from your seat. The setting itself is the real star though–it’s ominous, overbearing, and just downright cold and dreary.” Brett Gallman, Oh, the Horror!
“Slow and methodical, the movie really increases the tension and the underlying feeling of dread that runs through the entire movie. In fact, the performances really add to that as well. Told mostly inside a car, you would need two very good actors to be able to pull this movie off and that’s exactly what we have here.” Patrick Challis, Curiosity of a Social Misfit
” …it’s a shame not to be able to endorse its pared-down chills without reservation. But for all the film’s admirable restraint, it’s also poorly paced and, frankly, more than a little dull.” Maitland McDonagh, TV Guide
“Given the lackluster story, other elements are called upon to carry the film. Jacobs does a fine job of shooting the film, but there’s only so much that he can do with a movie where two people sit in a car for 90 minutes. The pacing gets quite sluggish in the middle, as we wait for the rest of the story to arrive.” Mike Long, DVD Sleuth
” …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…” Christopher Armstead, Film Critics United
“When it’s being a psychological thriller, it works well, if a bit pat and predictable; when it’s being a supernatural horror story, it doesn’t. And that latter fact isn’t helped by occasional injudiciously placed and poorly conceived CGI shots.” C.D. Workman, Rock! Shock! Pop!
Cast and characters:
- Emily Blunt as Girl
- Ashton Holmes as Guy
- Martin Donovan as Highway Patrolman
- Chelan Simmons as Blonde Girl
- Ned Bellamy as Pickup Driver
University of British Columbia near Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Outdoor scenes were shot near Peachland, British Columbia, in February and March 2006.
Wind Chill opened in limited distribution in April 2007 in the US, was released in the United Kingdom and Ireland in August 2007, but went directly to DVD in most other markets. At the time of writing, in February 2018, the film is available on Netflix.