Friday, December 4, 2009
Wind Chill Review
Here we go, with round two of our Holidays of Horror movie marathon, of sorts. However, I was somehow duped into getting this film. While the movie does occur around Christmas, it is no more a holiday movie than say the film "P2" which also happens to occur around the holidays. Instead of throwing this film out the window, I managed to watch it and enjoy the overall scenic attempt at horror.
Wind Chill is a simple horror movie with a lot of power, although somewhat limited to a road trip style movie. The plot revolves around two college students trying to get home for christmas. They are strangers, and the movie starts with a road trip, and lots of awkward moments in the car as they try to find out about each other. However, as the movie progresses our main heroine finds out that her driver is not just some random guy, but an admirer who's trying to get with her.
By the sounds of my overly simple premise, you're probably already sleeping. But hold on, there's more!
Emily Blunt, a fine actress, plays our main girl and she starts to unravel the fact that her driver is not a home town kid, and as she is trying to uncoil the mystery the two get involved in a car accident, causing the car to stall and strand the two in the woods. Fair enough, the movie seems to be moving forward, but alas, there's more!
The movie then progresses into two very poignant horror cliches. They rely on the fact that they are stranded, and the fact that while in the woods there is a recurring nightmare of sorts, not too unlike the premise of "Camp Slaughter". Terrible things happened in the woods, and now they are causing the situation of being stranded to becoming worse than ever!
The movie is filmed quite well, and it doesn't feel like a straight to dvd picture. It was originally released in limited capacity before landing on store shelves. Ashton Holmes. George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh all contributed to this film on a production level, so the quality of the scenery is right on par with a mainstream release. This is not straight to dvd fare, at least not in the way it is shot. The timing is a little off, but overall the film is quite creepy in the way it's lit and edited.
The idea of being stranded is scary, sure. However, this film doesn't really give you an arms length push towards caring for the characters. While many people will cite other films in regards to the way this drama plays out, it really has its own merits. It mixes the unraveling of a Japanese horror film (Ringu, Ju-On) with the scare tactic of their American remakes.
Is Wind Chill Scary? : No.
This film is not scary at all. The month is not all lost, but this was supposed to be an ace in the hole with the theme that I'm pushing this month. The movie really isn't that scary, it's more of a let down as the story unfolds. At times I felt like I was watching a mediocre episode of "The Outer Limits" or something along the same lines as "The Twilight Zone". I don't mind movies like that, but this one seemed to not know where it wanted to land.
Is it a ghost story, is it a slasher, is it an exploitation film? I don't really think that this film holds a lot of weight in regards to both horror and holiday horror. Sure, there are Christmas Carols in the backdrop, it's snowing, and the two young adults are trying to get home for the holidays, but this is not a holiday horror movie. So I guess I'm an idiot.
Back to the movie, this film really isn't all that great. I don't recommend Wind Chill for essential holiday viewing. The thrills aren't too elaborate, the jump scenes are predictable, and while I liked the film grain and the shots of isolation, I thought that this film was better in theory than execution.
Now, granted my review is sophomoric at best, that's why I'm including a trailer for you to see a bit more of the film. I think the trailer is way better than the hour and a half film that results.
Overall, Wind Chill might have an interesting box cover, a few good scare points, but it takes too long to set up, and once it is revealed what it is you're supposed to be afraid of, you're too tired and jaded to even care.
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