The Gist: It’s the end of finals and the start of Christmas break for university students and a time to travel home for the holidays. One student is preparing to take a 5 hours bus trip home but decides to check the ride share board in hopes of avoiding a Greyhound journey. She finds a ride with a geeky young man in a most unreliable looking car. They head out on the frozen highway and things became even chillier between the two as the Guy’s intentions are revealed and the Girl starts to feel trapped and vulnerable with his less than innocent motives. But things become even darker and take a twist after they take an ill-fated short cut.
Spoilers Contained Within
Road Crew: Emily Blunt (Girl), Ashton Holmes (Guy), Martin Donovan (Highway Patrolman) and fun fact, one of the executive producers is George Clooney
My Take: This was my seconding viewing of Wind Chill, the first time was a year or so ago, and I’m quite glad I had seen it before. The picture was terrible and too dark to really see anything (thanks Crackle). Image quality aside, the movie had some good points and some truly dull moments in the pursuit of making it suspenseful and trying to misdirect the viewer as to where the danger lies. Interesting note, the two main characters don’t have names and are just referred to in the credits as Girl and Guy.
Girl has to find a ride home for the first time since she has been at school and decides to do a ride share with Guy. From the start she is rude and a downright bitch to Guy for no reason I can see. As the story progresses, we see that Guy knows a lot more about Girl than he should, having just met her. He finally admits that he set up the ride share to get some quiet time with her so he can woo her. She is, understandably, creeped out by this and is even meaner, especially after he takes a short cut that ends up with them being run off the road and stranded in the middle of nowhere.
Things get weird from there starting with a strange man walking down the road in the snowy dark. When the Girl approaches him, he turns around and is all slimy and discoloured and a snake or eel falls out of his mouth and Girl’s hand is instantly frost-bitten. The next encounter is with a creepy sheriff who disappears when Guy hits him as he is trying to pull Girl to his car. Throw in the priests who just walk by Girl, a woman who appears out of nowhere surrounded by sun and the abandoned hut with corpses and the night has turned from a possible encounter with a stalker, Guy, to the ghosts being the real threat.
Through all the strange occurrences during the night, neither of them really seems too phased by the totally bizarre incidents or maybe they are just too cold and shocked to react. The long of the short, the bizarre scenes of the ghosts continues through the night, Guy dies and Girl is rescued after helping a tow truck driver meet his death.
See how I started out slowly explaining the set up and then quickly moved to the climax and conclusion? That’s how the movie was; slow and drawn out story development but by the time things started to get interesting, it was nearly the end of the movie.
What a lovely night for a stroll down a haunted, abandoned road
Yah or Nah: This one is a Nah. I wanted to like and there were parts that I thought were interesting but the execution was lacking. The strange ethereal like priests were cool and the idea that this Girl and Guy are stuck in the loop of the dead was also good. I appreciate the build up but I was bored by the time the story got to the point. And Emily Blunt’s character was not likable, not even after she realizes that Guy would have been a good match for her. Too bad she realized this after he died and after a night of delirium, stress and hanging out with ghosts.