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A turning point in contemporary horror?
jeanrobie4 May 2007
It's a shame more horror fans either aren't or can't see this movie, because it may very well signify a shift in the contemporary horror film (as of Spring 2007, when it was released).

The first "Saw" movie is usually seen as heralding a new direction and a new popularity in horror when it was first released and, despite the fact that the movie is principally a really twisty whodunit, it spawned dozens upon dozens of movies based on its essential formula: people (usually teenagers, often teen actors on their summer hiatus from their WB TV shows) in peril threatened with ghastly violence shown explicitly. The studios put any number of old movies into the remake machine in order to retrofit them with the new formula--and an R rating--to the point where these movies had the repetitive predictability of a Catholic mass.

Besides being bored with this genre, the massacres at Virginia Tech, I think, forced people to look to a new incarnation of horror--although, to be honest, I think current events have only a momentary impact on the movies. And that's where "Wind Chill" comes in.

"Wind Chill" is a movie which will disappoint you if you're hoping to see "Hostel"--a type of movie some people have compared to porn in its lack of substance apart from its depictions of explicit physical acts (in this case, violence). It's a thoughtful movie which takes the traditional elements of the most primitive horror movies and re-imagines them for our time. Think of the old James Whale haunted house movie, "The Old Dark House," and compare it to "Wind Chill" and you'll see how our oldest fears are presented anew--as if to say those old fears are never eliminated. This is the archetypal basis of the entire genre.

The movie isn't perfect--it's too talky, the exposition is piled on in the last third, the scares are rarely effective, and the resolution isn't quite plausible. But I thought it was fun and weird and full of unexpected depth.

I'm not certain in which direction "Wind Chill" is pointing the horror movie--maybe in the direction of the late 60s/early 70s "just slightly off" horror like "Rosemary's Baby" or the old "Night Gallery" TV series--rather than in the direction of grind house horror. But it's a worthwhile experiment.
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The view from (drunken movie ramblings)
rob williams22 August 2007
It's a few days before the Christmas holidays when two (unnamed) students share a ride home.After taking a "short-cut" they have a serious accident and find themselves stranded in nowheresville', in the middle of a cold snap and miles from the nearest town, then the 'problems' really begin....

I have to admit I'd heard nothing about this film, in fact I'd never even heard of the title, but it proved to be a bit of a revelation.The two leads Emily Blunt (The Devil Wears Prada) and Ashton Holmes (A History Of Violence) are both very good actors and both put in good performances.The film is well paced, not letting you know too much too soon, it's a very eerie looking movie, the the darkness of the night brilliantly contrasting with the glistening snow, reminiscent of the classic "The Shining".

In an age of shock horror which has become rife in Hollywood over the past decade it nice to see a good old fashioned horror film in the fashion of say John Carpenters "The Fog" or even Peter Jackson's "The Frighteners" which it had elements that were very similar too.

A fine intelligent psychological horror film.
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S10 Review's Wind Chill (2007)
suspiria108 September 2007
Wind Chill (2007) 4 of 5 Dir: Gregory Jacobs Stars: Emily Blunt, Ashton Holmes, Martin Donovan

A girl (Blunt) is in need of transportation home for the holidays. She hooks up with a guy to share expenses for the trip home to Delaware. But a scenic detour gets them in proverbial hot water when out of the snowy darkness a vehicle runs them off the road. Now stranded in the cold with the wind chill quickly approaching 30 below zero they thought find out that the cold is the least of their worries as strange figures appear around them and a ghostly patrolman appears to harass them. This snowy stretch of road may well be a highway of a different kind.

'Wind Chill' is a refreshing change from all the entire Saw'-like entertainment lurking about as of late. It takes its time getting where it wants to be while establishing characterization and eventually building up a pretty decent atmosphere from about the mid-point. I liked the sort of red herring that the filmmakers threw in regard to the relationship between the boy and the girl. The twist is an interesting one, not fully realized but still done very well. The acting is done very well and since Blunt and Holmes nearly have the screen to themselves they play off each other excellently.

I recommend 'Wind Chill' for those who may like a change of pace. Nicely acted with a solid script and interesting premise.
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A very well-done exercise in psychological terror
SJinSeaTac28 April 2007
While this is not the best horror film ever to have been made, it stands out as one that actually has taken the time to develop the characters and still manage to hold your attention. Aside from a back-story that is thrown in at the last minute which never really explains why this is happening to the characters, the film stars and director have helped create some very effective scar sequences which don't always need to be played upon with exhausting music and gore.

The story begins with a girl (Emily Blunt, "The Devil Wears Prada") who needs a ride home for the holidays from college because she has just broken up with her boyfriend. Upon checking the student "ride board" she sees that there is someone offering a ride home in her direction and decides to take it. The boy (Ashton Holmes, "A History of Violence") is our driver, who may have ulterior motives of his own.

Needless to say things begin to fall apart when the boy decides to get off the main highway at the behest of the girl, swerves the car to avoid another one that is oncoming, and crashes in the middle of nowhere. In the snow. In the freezing cold. Obviously with no cell phones in service. Soon the two realize that they have much more to worry about than just freezing to death in the night.

Up until this point things have been fairly clichéd and predictable as with most horror films, but this is exactly what catches you off guard for the second half of the film, the dynamics of which I will not spoil for you. The director Jacobs ("Criminal") is fully aware that the best of horror films are those that have given you time to get to know and feel for the characters before something bad happens to them, even if it is only in the last half. Hitchcock knew this quite well and although "Wind Chill" may be a far cry from "Psycho" or "Frenzy", its effectiveness in making you believe in these characters and feel for them is a truly terrifying experience.
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Don't snowflake out on me
Cujo1087 August 2010
For Christmas break, a bitchy college girl (Emily Blunt) is in desperate need of a ride home to Delaware. When a classmate (Ashton Holmes) overhears this, he puts up an ad on the school's billboard since he has a crush on her. She winds up taking the ride, but it soon becomes obvious that he's a tad bit obsessed with her. Naturally, this leads to a tense atmosphere for the long drive home, so he takes a shortcut. While heading down this lonely road, they're involved in an accident which leaves them stranded in the snow. With no one around to help and the cold reaching below zero temperatures, their situation isn't exactly enviable. It becomes even less so when they realize that this isolated stretch of road is haunted by unsettling apparitions, one of which is quite dangerous.

I've been extremely fond of Emily Blunt ever since I first saw her in 2004's "My Summer of Love". Aside from being a stellar talent, she's a stunning girl and infinitely charming. The film is worth seeing just for her, but her co-star, Ashton Holmes, is much better here than he was in "A History of Violence". I found him so annoying in that film, but here, he was actually likable. What a shock!

The film is definitely creepy at times. Thankfully, no weak jump scares either. It's all built up subtly through mood, atmosphere and shadows. There's one especially effective scene about halfway through. You'll know it when you see it, but I'll just say it reminded me of a similarly unnerving scene from Wes Craven's underrated "The Serpent and the Rainbow".

I was thrilled to see Clint Mansell's name in the opening credits, as I knew right away that the film would have a particularly strong score. It did wonders for the film's tone, and especially shone through during the ending. Speaking of which, the ending is somewhat on the weak side. It seemed too simple, and the connection between these two characters wasn't strong enough to support it. Actually, they're pretty much at odds with each other for the majority of the picture, so there's hardly a connection at all. It speaks volumes about the power of Mansell's score, as it manages to give the ending a feeling of emotional weight where there otherwise would be none.

In spite of the film's closing moments, this deserved a wider release. The scenes on the deserted road are effective and moody, while Blunt has talent to burn. It isn't perfect, but it's a good little film with more to offer than some of the filth that hits 3000+ screens nationwide. Think of it as a sort of ghost story by way of urban legend, which is supported by the characters just being referred to as "Boy" and "Girl" in the closing credits.
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Crazy Good Horror Movie--Without the Usual Gore
guthesq23 October 2007
Before you read my ramblings, let me cut to the chase and just say that you need to see this movie if you're into HORROR (not gore). I was sitting in my hotel room wondering what movie I should fork over $13.99 for to kill some time. I'm a fan of horror movies and have been disappointed by pretty much everything since Sixth Sense. So-called horror movies these days are really slasher films that merely come up with more inventive ways of killing and maiming. More funny and / or predictably stupid after awhile than scary. So the quality of Wind Chill was a real surprise. The characters really get you into the movie from the get-go--even when the movie isn't scary. There's plenty of subtle hints that had me going every which way trying to predict the end of the movie. Was he a whack-job intent on killing her? Did he already know about this place and went there on purpose? Was he in cahoots with the people at the gas station? I was pleasantly way-off in all of my predictions. Also, there were little things in the movie that built my anxiety without slapping me in the face with its obviousness, like, hey, you guys left a bag! I've forgotten stuff so many times that seeing it happen to someone else and not being able to do anything about it had me talking to the TV (which I don't normally do) telling them they had left a bag behind. Emily Blunt plays a great attitudinally-impaired hottie with brains and Ashton Holmes skillfully plays a college guy that sometimes appears semi-normal and at other times might just be on the verge of craziness. Both actors did a great job at pulling me into the movie, and I'm surprised that I didn't hear more about this movie when it was in theaters. Believe it or not, I think it was worth $13.99 to finally see another really good horror movie. Kudos to everyone that put this really good film together.
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promising but disappointing horror film
Roland E. Zwick5 March 2008
Emily Blunt and Ashton Holmes play two nameless college students who share a ride home for the holidays. On the way from Pennsylvania to Delaware, their car becomes stranded in a snow bank far away from civilization. Soon they are being haunted by the ghosts of all the numerous people who died earlier in the very spot that seems intent on claiming two fresh victims.

"Wind Chill" is a modest little horror outing whose admirable restraint and sense of atmosphere don't quite compensate for its overall lack of energy and incoherent storyline. It takes quite awhile for the plot to kick itself into gear, and even when it does, the movie ends not with a bang but with a whimper.

"Wind Chill" is certainly preferable to an out-and-out gore-fest like "Saw" or "Hostel," but a few more runs through the typewriter (or word processor, as the case may be) might have gone a long way towards making it a more satisfying and scary film. Like the car stuck in the snowdrift, the audience at "Wind Chill" ultimately finds itself stranded in the middle of nowhere.
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Redemption in the haunting cold
Wuchak14 January 2011
2007's "Wind Chill" is a mystery/horror film about a college gal (Emily Blunt) sharing a 6-hour ride with a male student (Ashton Holmes) home to Delaware from Pennsylvania. The guy is supposed to be a stranger but it turns out he knows more about her than anticipated. The story takes a tragic ghostly turn when they get stranded on Route 606 in the bitter evening cold.

I should point out right away that "Wind Chill" is inexplicably rated 'R'; there's really nothing in the film that should warrant such a rating -- there's no sex, very little cussing (realistic, not overkill) and hardly any gore. If you want that see "Cabin Fever" or "Friday the 13th." "Wind Chill" shoots for something more profound, haunting and classy, like "The Mothman Prophecies".

The film is what I would call an "isolated environment" movie wherein the main characters are stuck in a confined situation for the better part of the picture, like in "Prey" where a woman and her two stepkids are stuck in a jeep fending off lions or "The Mist" where the characters are barricaded in a supermarket from the onslaught of otherworldly creatures. This scenario tended to work against those films as the confined setting became tedious (although "The Mist" redeems itself with one of the most unforgettable, awe-inspiring climaxes in film history) (and I still think "Prey" is worth catching for nature-runs-amok enthusiasts). By contrast, the confined setting somehow works in "Wind Chill." How so? I would chalk it up to great writing, acting and movie-making.

Think about it, there are essentially only two characters in this entire 91-minute film. For it to work it HAS to have stellar casting, writing and acting. It dawned on me while watching that "Wind Chill" is largely a dialogue-driven picture; the banter between the two protagonists pulled me in and sustained my interest, which isn't easy seeing as how "isolated environment" movies tend to try the viewer's patience & interest by their very nature.

Emily Blunt is easy on the eyes (what an understatement) but comes off a bit witchy and therefore unattractive initially, yet this plays into what the film is really about. Isn't this a mystery/horror flick? Yes, but the ghostly trappings are merely a stage for a tale of redemption. Unfortunately redemption always has a hefty price tag, not to mention love must fit into the mix somewhere. So, at its core, "Wind Chill" is a mystery chiller of love and redemption. Who it is that needs redeemed and why I'll leave to you to figure out, as well as who pays the price.

The score is awe-inspiring, in particular the piece at the beginning and end (and during the credits).

Although the story takes place in the East the film was shot in British Columbia. These are great locations, of course, but I'm starting to weary of the fact that 90% of these types of flicks are shot in B.C. Incidentally, the tale obviously occurs in Eastern Pennsylvania in light of a reference to Harrisburg on the radio and the I-476 highway sign (I-476 runs North-to-South from Scranton to Philadelphia).

I have a couple of cavils: When they're stranded on the country road it never looks nearly as cold as it's supposed to be, and is it believable that any college student, let alone a hot babe, would know about the junction box and phone jack on top of a telephone pole?

CONCLUSION: The average person who has a taste for this type of moody, spooky picture will conclude that "Wind Chill" is a classy chiller, what ushers it into the realm of greatness is its underlying profundities, stellar cast, writing, acting, music, locations and just all-around magical movie-making. For all these reasons "Wind Chill" is a pleasure to behold.

GRADE: Borderline B+ or A-

***ENDING SPOILER*** The climax, as told in Chapter 28, strikes a potent emotional chord as the girl stumbles out of the dark woods after a night of literal hell; she comes across the gas station, which links her to the authorities and salvation. Yet this is a much different woman than at the start of the picture; her life will never be the same as she is changed forever, changed for the good. She realizes this and can't hold back the tears. You can see it on her face; she understands the price that was paid for this new life. Emily Blunt pulls the scene off expertly; in fact, everything about the finale is filmmaking of the finest expertise. Magnificent.
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Two college students face unexpected horrors on a snowy road
gussie524928 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Because it isn't dripping with blood and gore but is a more stylish movie in the school of "The Shining," "Wind Chill" isn't getting much attention. Which is too bad because it's a pretty surprising and effective little horror movie with a great performance by up-and-coming superstar Emily Blunt.

For the record, it's hard to write a review about this without spoilers since the movie keeps shifting directions, which is one of the interesting things about it.

Two nameless college kids--Blunt and Ashton Holmes--meet through their college ride board and share a ride home at Christmas time. She's a bitch and he's got something creepy going on and the thing builds nicely for the first third. But when someone drives their car off the road into a snowbank, the movie shifts directions for the first time--turning from a psychological thriller to a ghost story.

MINOR SPOILER: It turns out the road where they've crashed is haunted owing to a horrible secret that happened fifty years in the past. The secret involves a highway patrolman and a group of priests--I won't ruin it for you, but it has the same unnerving quality the secret in, say, "The Grudge" had. Actually much of the movie reminds me of Asian horror movies like "The Eye" and "The Ring."

Most of movie is spent in the car and the leads talk quite a bit and it's to the actor's credit (and the writers's) that it's pretty gripping and interesting and the relationship that develops is entirely believable. The movie is basically a haunted house movie from that point on--how will they survive the night and those ghosts which mean them harm--and the last third has some real scares and twists.

Finally, I liked Ashton Homes but it was Emily Blunt who ran away with the movie--the smartest, most resilient horror movie heroine since Ripley.
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Subtle thriller
daggersineyes15 September 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I enjoyed this movie! It wasn't as thrilling as some but the story & characters drew me in and fascinated me. The acting was absolutely brilliant from all concerned - especially the two leads - "guy and girl". I loved that they never named them and how interesting it was that they never introduce themselves to each other! Very moody and tense, this is not a horror flick for gore fans, it's more of a tension- filled drama with spooky spectral beings and one particularly nasty ghost adding to the proceedings.

The script is extremely well written, even eliciting a couple of wry chuckles at appropriate times. The direction and score (by the awesome Mansell) were excellent and it utilised it's chillingly beautiful snow- bound setting and creepy ruins expertly. I loved it but I wouldn't call it a horror movie - despite a few of the nastier images. It's more of a thrilling drama, a spooky love story, and/or - as someone else wrote - a tale of redemption. It's also a tale about dealing with isolation, not just in the snow-covered crashed car but in the lives of the protagonists generally. And the ending is perfect when you understand what this movie is - and is not - about.

The movie gives you plenty to think about and if you watch this expecting everything to be crystal clear, straightforward and wrapped up at the end you'll be disappointed. It's got something of a metaphorical/philosophical under-pinning that relates to the characters of 'guy' and 'girl' and their "night of awakening".

I note with interest several of the "this is rubbish" reviews seem to have made obvious mistakes about what happens in this movie, even clear and simple things like what actions the characters took to get help at different times. Either they didn't watch it all or they weren't paying attention which is probably why they ended up giving it a bad review. This is a movie you need to pay attention to - it's not just "lets have fun eating popcorn while watching people being terrorised in the dark" - there's much more to it than that.

But it's the two main actors that really make this movie. The quality of their acting is astounding and it says bucket-fulls about their acting skills that they both eventually gained my sympathy. I actually didn't like either of them at first, she was horribly arrogant & he is a stalker/loser, but as the movie progressed I grew to understand them & their behaviour (as did they) and really care about, not just their survival of this particular night, but their future development as human beings.

I recommend it to people who like moody ghost stories with an intelligent, poetic style & a focus on character development, who don't mind a slower paced movie. I don't recommend it if you have the attention span of a gnat or think horror movies are good only if they're about "violence, gore & sick stuff" as I've heard some say. Will be looking for more from this director.
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Very good film, one flaw
Swimdude2079 December 2007
This film was very well done. The scars are marvelous and the acting is terrific. It did have one flaw though. Every good horror film has "THE BIG SECRET", of "THE TWIST". This keeps the story moving and makes it scarier. In this film, the big twist is figured out to early. One can figure the secret out half way through the film. But just because the big secret is known, does not mean that this film isn't worth watching. There are still some scares that are really good and aren't seen coming. Because of this, I highly recommend this film to other horror buffs. It is a traditional scare, where the fear is in the situation and the people; not based in how much blood is in the film.
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Nietzche's Dead of Night.
JoeytheBrit30 June 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Expecting the usual half-hearted horror flick that is regurgitated on a near-weekly basis by Hollywood, I was quite pleased to discover that Wind Chill is actually quite good, even though certain elements are under-developed. The writers are to be praised for devoting so much time to developing its main characters but, conversely to most horror fare, this character development is focused on at the cost of the creepier elements of the tale.

Ashton Holmes plays a vaguely nerdish college student who manages to manipulate the girl he fancies (Emily Blunt) into sharing a lift home in his wreck of a car for the Christmas break. The girl has a prickly personality to say the least, and is soon suspecting that her fellow traveller is actually a stalker. Perhaps the film's one true concession to genre stereotype is that the guy stubbornly ignores local advice to stick to the highway, choosing instead to take a snow-covered B-road, and inevitably ending up facing the wrong way in a snow bank much to his pretty companion's annoyance.

Given that much of the screen time is given to Holmes and Blunt, it's fortunate that they play off each other pretty well. The premise of the story – Nietzche's theory of eternal recurrence – is introduced early on in the film in a couple of throwaway lines, before the viewer is left to relate what is happening on the screen to the resonance of the theory. This is something that isn't going to be done with lots of bloody gore and stalk-and-slash techniques, which is why you'll hear anguished cries of 'it's too slow!' from the multiplex crowd. And if the gradual thawing of the couple's relationship is predictable, it is also believable and, ultimately, refuses to pander to the industry's demand for neat happy endings. This one is recommended.
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A Somewhat Tedious But Well-Scripted Film of Isolation
gavin69422 October 2007
A boy and a girl (whose names are never revealed) share a car ride home to Delaware, which is strange once you realize no film in history has ever taken place in Delaware. Luckily, they get stranded on the roadside and don't make it there, saving us the chance of this being the first film to take place there. But the stranding was just the beginning -- ghostly figures live in the woods and the girl slowly learns the guy is not who he says he is.

I have to hand it to the creators of this film. Gregory Jacobs is a relatively new director (though he has helped on many projects) and Joe Gangemi is a new writer. Steven Katz also co-wrote this film, but hasn't written any screenplay since 2000's "Shadow of the Vampire" (which was quite good, for the record). Being new doesn't hamper these guys -- they put together a tight picture.

The writing is much stronger than the plot or directing, I have to say. I enjoyed the plot of the boy's mysterious background (this alone could have carried the film), but the ghosts and the violent cop just weren't all that interesting to me. I enjoyed the isolated car story much better in "Penny Dreadful". The dialog was astoundingly incredible. I could have listened to these two talk about pointless things for hours. The inclusion of Nietzsche's eternal recurrence was a nice touch, and actually ties in to the plot. As a philosophy major, that tugged at my heartstrings.

The guy was a decent actor, but the real star here is Emily Blunt. You might know her name, and you're familiar with her if you've seen "The Devil Wears Prada" (I haven't). Miss Blunt has several projects in 2007 and 2008, and I'm not surprised -- she is a dynamic actress that is both talented and beautiful. And not the dainty type of beauty Hollywood likes, but a more powerful brand.

The film is a bit tedious and drags in the second half. Things get repetitive (hence the eternal recurrence) and the ghosts aren't really all that interesting. The cop is bland, the priest is just mildly intimidating and the black man who coughs up an eel is not nearly as creepy as it could have been. I mean, he's coughing up an eel -- that should have been the highlight of the film, but it was just a quick scene.

I'm glad I saw this one. It had solid writing and a nice dynamic between the two leads. I was expecting the music to be better, with the score being done by the same man who composed the score for "The Fountain" but I was instead treated to bad Christmas songs. I've had enough of Christmas movies and music. But, I suppose it's better than Creed or Rush. If you're curious, pick this one up. It's not a bad beer and pizza movie, though you could probably do better.
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"The Sure Thing" meets "The Twilight Zone"
george.schmidt30 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
WIND CHILL (2007) *** Emily Blunt, Ashton Holmes, Martin Donovan, Ned Bellamy, Chelan Simmons. (Dir: Gregory Jacobs)

"The Sure Thing" meets "The Twilight Zone"

Everyone loves a good ghost story and the latest installment on screen is a well-crafted suspenser that feels like "The Sure Thing" meets "The Twilight Zone" if written by Stephen King.

Set in the frost-bitten winter of a small Pennsylvania college campus days before the Christmas break, a young coed (THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA's gloriously bitchy Blunt) is attempting to get back home to Delaware when her plans fall flat forcing her to chose a ride from the bulletin board to share expenses on her trek for the holidays.

Her driver is a fellow student (A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE's Holmes) whose compact sedan is overflowing with all his worldly possessions (he claims he is in between living spaces), and harboring a secret crush on the pretty yet cranky passenger.

En route the two do not hit it off at all and bicker back and forth making the tedious drive insufferable. While getting gas Holmes decides to take a detour on a snow-covered back road, claiming it'll be picture post-card perfect viewing to break up the monotony. Blunt becomes increasingly angry and demands they get back on the main highway and as they argue an oncoming car force them off the narrow path into a snow bank. With a crack in the gas tank, no food and no cell phone signal (natch) the pair suddenly discovers the bleak, quiet snow drifting countryside has a sinister presence that they will soon encounter.

A surprisingly well-written screenplay by Steven Katz (SHADOW OF A VAMPIRE) and newbie Joe Gangemi, the dialogue rings true of the formulaic supernatural yet offers an intriguing premise interpolating Nietzchian thought (eternal recurrence) – the two were students in a philosophy class – and some fine moments of paranoia fueled anxiety for Blunt's heroine (is she in danger with this person or not), and although the 'ghost story' section feels a little rushed it works with the backdrop of the winter storm encroaching. Director Jacobs (who helmed the "NINE QUEENS" remake "CRIMINAL" for his long-time associates Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney's Section Eight production company (the high powered filmmakers serve as exec producers here) does a very good job of creating enough tension, sprinkled with dry humor mixed with dread employing tight editing by Lee Percy and a cool-to-the-touch cinematography by Dan Laustsen.

The better-than-average film is buoyed by excellent acting by its stars, with Brit Blunt employing an impeccable American accent and making her bitchy 'girl' (as she is only referred to at the credits' close) redeemably likable and Holmes' 'guy' switched back and forth from mensch to menace.

What is truly surprising is why the film has been neglected in marketing by Sony Pictures – its distributor – and why it wasn't released more appropriately in the dead of winter instead of the beginning of spring is beyond me. But if you want a decent ghost story on a secluded evening check this out.
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Scary as shiiiiiiiiiiznit.
john in missouri24 March 2013
I'm sure some folks (particularly those who dine on a regular diet of horror films) won't find this movie to be terribly scary. Personally, it scared the shiznit out of me.

As others have noted, it's more of a psychological thriller than a gorefest. I prefer these kinds of movies.

Yes, it has some slow moments, but it builds up in terms of intensity.

For reference, I watched Silent Hill, and was just not as impressed with that movie as this one. That film was what I would call "over the top." The Ring is another horror movie that I consider scary as hell. (American version, I haven't seen the original Japanese.)

Overall verdict: This is a lower-budget, scary-as-hell, closer-to-life psychological horror movie that in my personal opinion is well underrated.
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Not so horror, but really worth-seeing
snowgoblin31 July 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Although Wind Chill has a classic theme of a haunted place, you have to like it. It perfectly describes situation of two main character, who are left alone on a snowy highway with no chance to get a help till dawn. It did not show brutal scenes which many modern horrors (mainly old time horrors remakes) are based on. It is built about not knowing what the real source of fear is. And it does this job great. You could even imagine this movie without the ghost and retrospective scenes and it would still be good. The strong points are in fact performances of two main actors. Especially Emily Blunt is so charming, that you can easily fall in love with her character. In the end you don't really know why you liked this film so much but you'll keep memory of this creepy for a long time. It's not so horror (fans of Saw will be certainly disappointed) but it's worth-seeing twice or even more times. And it has what many horrors lack nowadays: perfect acting when you don't have to laugh every time a hero tries to look frightened.
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Chillingly bad
doctorsmoothlove18 January 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Watching and reviewing Wind Chill has convinced me of the following: a) most unprofessional horror movie websites are not worth reading b) this movie was an incomplete project dumped into theaters for a quick dollar/pound/euro/krona.

I do not understand how someone involved in this project approved its release. None of the protagonists are named, the villains are numerous and without motivation, and the pacing is amateurish. Why wasn't it finished? George Clooney is an executive producer; he's been in good movies, so why didn't he lobby for this one? There are occasional scares to be had, but only as reward for tedious character interaction. You will be impressed by the bloodlessness of the picture, but remorseful of its lost potential.

Some random loser (credited as Guy) stalks his prey (Girl) enough to know where she lives. They attend some preppy northeastern liberal arts college and share Philosophy 101 class. They spend a lot of time talking about the theory of eternal returns. Guy likes her, but instead of confronting her, he creates a ruse to trick her into riding to Delaware with him. He doesn't bother to research anything about the state either. They arrive at a gas station where everyone is old and leery. Typical Wrong Gas Station pattern begins. The cashier tells them about a scenic path they can take so they do. Some other driver hits them and they are stranded and exposed to a series of bizarre events.

The film becomes a sequence of moving images without purpose after that. The Guy tries to walk back to the gas station but doesn't make it. So he and Girl spend most of the evening in the car. Various undead appear and walk aimlessly to an abandoned cabin. It's spooky but undermined by our inability to determine what they are. Some of them appear like rotting corpses, while others are "fresh." The spirits don't appear to do anything other than exist, and most don't even notice the youngsters. It's so odd and even the characters observe it. So they rest in the car, which has the best battery ever. They talk and waste time for vast periods of time but we learn nothing about them. Girl probably recognizes her role in this awful movie so she tries to walk back to Wrong Gas Station. She gets cold, sees more zombie thingys, and returns to Guy's now frozen corpse. A helpful old person (another staple of bad horror movies) appears at the last minutes to finally reveal the plot: ghost of murderous policeman wrecks havoc on passersby. Girl confronts ghost, escapes, and is lead to Wrong Gas Station by Guy's ghost. The end; no conflict, no resolution, and no reason to have watched.

It's actually similar to a slasher movie, but worse if you can imagine. There is a "final girl" who survives until the end. Admittedly, she doesn't have to do much. The villain makes only one distinctive appearance and isn't defeated. He isn't victorious either, he just is. My guess is that the theory of eternal returns (meaning evens will recur throughout eternity) is a metaphor for the ghost's rampage. I don't accept it. It's a fraudulent insertion with no justification. Wind Chill wants you to think it's an enriching horror film by including the theory of eternal returns, but it doesn't elaborate on this idea in any way. Ghosts, zombies, or whatever they are would be present in this movie even if there was no reference to philosophy. At least the filmmakers exhibit some knowledge of their film's terribleness by adding a pseudo-intellectual explanation. A better ghost (I guess since there is at least one ghost) movie wouldn't have to create a lousy reason for ghosts to be there. We don't care for a reason. Just make us tremble and you've succeeded.

This is yet another failed attempt at resurrecting the "creepy" horror movie which has disappeared from mainstream cinema. Most unsettling pictures are released in only in major cities or directly to DVD. It is worth you time to research new ones, and add them to you rental list. Don't add this title, though. Wind Chill, like last year's The Strangers falls flat on its face because it is incapable of suspense. All scares are instantaneous and therefore repetitive. A better screenplay would have ameliorated, but probably not solved this problem. Wind Chill is a terrible movie which shouldn't be as bad as it is. Audiences have proved their desire for terror cinema, as Karloff called it, (given The Strangers surprising box office return) and deserve a new horror film. For now, I recommend watching The Orphanage or May while you await better cult horror films.
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For a horror movie, great character buildup, prehistoric thrills
ShowMeTheCredits12 July 2007
This is the kind of movie that gets you to actually register here to voice your dismay.

Why? Because it has everything going right from the start; blueish, ominous, still (as in grave) footage, something-bad-is-going-to-happen atmos, and a great character and story buildup.

Problem is, the story being built up is not a horror story, it's a romance, or a romantic comedy. These people obviously have never understood horror movies, it's like watching something out of the 70s or early 80s once the "action" gets going. Mix in 21st century character writing and great acting with clichéd and excessively overused and non-scary 70s style horror moments, you've got the essence of this movie.

The story would be great if it were not for the sudden shift from the romance line to the horror line. But, then again, this is supposed to be a horror movie. And, if you're a different kind of screen writer, what do you do? You ask some horror buff about what's scary, because you've got all this story built up, but it's not just scary yet.

So, the mate says, "put it some ghosts, they're scary," and "something about dead people with a vengeance" etc. And the screen writer just throws that in here and there without any particular contextual reason.

Also, this is one of those movies that tick you off with the classic "but, hello, why don't they just *****" (without spoiling anything). It's one of those things where you just hope that someone (without, in this case, knowing what the hoo someone would be) would kill the leading characters just because they act completely foolish and because you just want the thing to end.

Don't watch it. I've seen much better movies here with a much lower rating. The high rating is entirely for the acting, which is really superb.
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Moody, esoteric ghost story that ultimately collapses under its philosophical weight
bob_meg4 September 2011
Wind Chill has the seeds of an extremely affecting horror film: a twilight December 23 commute home for two unacquainted college kids, who couldn't be more mismatched, a slate gray landscape full of spooky forest-and-snow strewn exteriors, Clint Mansell's doomy score, and Emily Blunt and Ashton Holmes' spot-on performances.

Blunt --- a literal bitch on wheels --- swipes a tag from a ride board back home to Delaware with Holmes, a nerdy Philosophy major who may be a good Samaritan, a love-sick stalker, or a psycho --- or a combination of the last two.

As a suspense film, Wind Chill does work. I have no idea why, but I jumped out of my seat more than a few times, probably due to Gregory Jacobs effective but low-key direction. He'll pull things out of nowhere that you don't expect --- it's not the standard don't-look-behind-the- fridge-door type of thing.

Wind Chill falters when it tries to take the ghost story element into a Twilight Zone-ish dimension which, for me at least, didn't work. It only convoluted things, and the last third of the film, rife with another standard boogeyman story, was something of a let-down.

It didn't diminish my overall enjoyment of the film though, and Blunt's performance especially was memorable. She takes a character who is thoroughly unlikable and pulls you over to her side of the fence. No small feat.
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Underrated movie, not for impatient viewers!
morkulv_athferion27 September 2012
Wind Chill, Gregory Jacobs' second movie in his directing career is definitely a special case. One of the reasons why this movie might have gone over a lot of people's heads is because this is not the kind of movie you see with a bunch of buddies while drinking beer. No, Wind Chill is a movie that you put in your DVD player on a lonely and rainy Sunday afternoon and totally immerse yourself into the story. If you are the type of person that gets bored quickly during movies, this is not for you. If you are, then there's probably a nice Saw movie you can rent.

One thing that is immediately evident as this movie begins is the thick atmosphere. There are few horror/thriller films that can pull off this kind of immersive atmosphere and still be engaging and 'realistic', and that is one hell of a feature. When I read the press reviews of this film after I saw it the first time, I was amazed at how much low scores it got. I've seen plenty shitty horror movies in my day, and this is definitely not one of them, and it deserves more recognition.

When the plot starts unraveling, and a boy and a girl drive off the road only to be trapped in their car and the cold outside, you immediately want to judge this movie when the girl attempts to call 911 and her cellphone doesn't work. But trust me, this is not that kind of movie. As the story progresses, the story covers elements of Nietzsche's theory of eternal recurrence, and thats when the film gets real good.

Because this movie has a great story that shouldn't be spoiled, I'm going to end the review here and say that if you like psychological horror films or thrillers with a twist, you should definitely give Wind Chill a chance. The movie's story is more rewarding if you pay attention though, keep that in mind!
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How did this get missed?
Mihaela_Lacramioara15 April 2012
I'm stoked about this movie. I am also very surprised I never heard of it until last night. It is a wonderful film that does it's job as a horror movie... it scares you. I'm so used to horror movies not being scary, probably due to being desensitized after seeing so many.

Emily Blunt is a great actress and I would love to see her in more lead roles. The guy starring opposite her did a great job too. For only having a cast of 11 people, they made it work.

The movie gives you the willies when you're not wanting them and keeps you on the edge of your seat.

The creepiest part of all is I'm from Delaware too :) I recommend you see it!
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On a cold, dark night...
cinematic1322 April 2011
Modest but very effective film. Those looking for rotting zombies, chainsaws, "deserve-to-die" teens, surprise appearances by cats, blood & gore, explosions, or at least a killing within the first 10 minutes...look elsewhere. Like some of the best films of old, you get to know the characters just as they get to know each other. The setting is remote and isolationist...realistic enough that you can put yourselves in their predicament. Sure, there are some plot holes, but nothing that you can't fill-in-the-blanks with yourself. The actors give it their all, in what appears to have been cramped, uncomfortable, and unpleasantly cold conditions. Just the sound of the unforgiving wind blowing in 5.1 sound is enough to make things suitably creepy...and then there's the supernatural element! If you like films like THE FOG (original version), ROSEMARY'S BABY, THE SHINING, etc...well, this movie is certainly not up to those classics...but like those films, it's not in a hurry to throw shocks at you. If you are one of today's ADD movie viewers, you won't enjoy this. But for the rest of us, it's a small gem that is best viewed with the lights (and phone) off, on a dark, chilly evening.
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Effectively creepy and well-acted chiller!
hnt_dnl8 March 2012
Warning: Spoilers
WIND CHILL (2007) is an anomaly in the modern horror genre. Initially, when the two college kids arrive at the highway gas station-diner, I figured it was another ho-hum tale about teens getting kidnapped and tortured by some crazy country folk. Plus, it stars actors playing two "teenaged" characters (probably 19, perhaps 20 in the movie). But I should have known the movie was much more than that based on it's 2 stars, the superb Emily Blunt (whose breakthrough role was in Devil Wears Prada) and the underrated Ashton Holmes (from the acclaimed A History of Violence).

Blunt and Holmes have genuine chemistry and their fine acting actually lifts this tale, which in and of itself, is rather well-conceived and chilling on it's own. The stars play college kids who are on their way home for winter break after midterms. Blunt's character needs a ride and responds to an ad that Holmes' character posed on the school bulletin board. The pair immediately seem to dislike each other immensely as the girl is rather bratty, bossy, and whiny, while the boy (even though he has a major crush on her) is put off by her negative behavior. The banter between the 2 actors is very refreshing and believable for a flick like this!

The plot of the movie is actually pretty creepy as the pair gets stuck on an off-highway road in the dead of winter and must survive not only the sub-zero temperatures, but also a barrage of odd and mysterious figures who strangely don't seem to want to help them. As the movie progresses, the pair form a bond and develop a mutual admiration and connection with each other as they try to survive the wintry night. The haunting music and sounds of the windy, snowy night really gives the movie it's scary quality. But the film is actually a love story trapped inside of a horror movie!

Not your typical mindless teen horror movie, Wind Chill is well-written, well-acted, mature, AND scary!
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Atmospheric, surrealistic nightmare.
Fella_shibby1 May 2017
It is a surrealistic film, like a nightmare. Very claustrophobic n heavy on atmosphere. Saw this first in 2007 on a DVD. Revisited it recently. The movie is about a college girl who is trying to get home on Christmas break. She hitches a ride with a complete stranger by getting his number thru a college ride board. Strangely, the stranger knows everything about her. The stranger takes a short cut through the forests..... The acting by the two leads were very good, especially Blunt. The director did a good job with the settings n atmosphere. The story was decent but audiences may find shades of Dead end, The Abandoned 2006, Triangle, No mans land aka Reeker 2 n Haunter. Also ther r aspects in this movie which ain't original. In this movie u can make out when the terror is approaching when the song starts playing in the car a la Jeepers creepers style. Also most of the film is shot in the car a la Joy ride n Penny dreadful. The score is very good, in particular the piece at the beginning and end. Very haunting n sad. Despite nearly the entire film being set in the broken down car n almost in one location it never gets boring.
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Promising and Eerie Ghost Story, but with a Disappointing Resolution
Claudio Carvalho11 January 2008
Warning: Spoilers
In Christmas, a female college student (Emily Blunt) accepts to share a ride home to Delaware with a stranger (Ashton Holmes). The driver tells her that they study philosophy in the same class, and they briefly discuss the definition of Nietzsche's theory of eternal recurrence. The girl tells to a friend in her cell phone that the highway was boring and the driver takes a shortcut through a nice and romantic scenic route. They are forced off the road by another car; they have a car accident and get stranded in the lonely road. When the driver is blamed and pressed by the girl, he explains that he is a shy man that had a crush on her, and used the trip to spend some time close to her. Along the night, the temperature gets colder and colder, and they are haunted by ghost of people that have died in the location.

"Wind Chill" is a promising and eerie ghost story, but with a disappointing resolution. I am not familiarized with Nietzsche's theory of eternal recurrence, the theme of the whole plot, and I found in Wikipedia that "Eternal return (also known as "eternal recurrence") is a concept which posits that the universe has been recurring, and will continue to recur in the exact same self-similar form an incomprehensible and unfathomable number of times. The basic premise is that the universe is limited in extent and contains a finite amount of matter, while time is viewed as being infinite. The universe has no starting or ending state, while the matter comprising it is constantly changing its state. The number of possible changes is finite, and so sooner or later the same state will recur." This philosophical definition explains the existence of ghosts in that deserted road living the same situations of fifty and something years before. However, it is never clear for me when the driver died: is he struggling to survive along the cold night, or did he die immediately after the accident? In the end, his ghost guides the girl back to the gas station and saves her life. My vote is six.

Title (Brazil): "Estrada Maldita" ("Damned Road")
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