Starring: Emily Blunt (Girl), Ashton Holmes (Guy), Martin Donovan (Highway Patrolman)
Year - 2007
Score - 1.5 Howls Outta 4
WIND CHILL is about a bitchy college student (Blunt) who shares a ride with this goofy dude (Holmes) during winter break. They argue alot, apparently since the dude is like attracted to her and has been stalking her a bit to get her attention, until they get into an accident in the middle of some snow bank. They become stranded on a snowy road during a snow storm where the wind chill will be below 0 degrees Fahrenheit. During the night, ghosts appear and walk towards some deserted house in the woods. These ghosts are apparently of people who died during a snow storm like this many years ago and are doomed to continue reliving their lives as some kind of Nietzscheian "Eternal Recurrence". The bitch and the goofy dude lock themselves in a car, trying to figure out what’s going on and attempting to survive.
WIND CHILL is slow, sometimes boring, and the narrative [like with DEAD SILENCE] doesn’t fully explain what’s going on with these characters or with the ghosts throughout the short 90 minutes of the film. Let me just say that the film mainly takes place inside a single car with the two actors playing off of each other. You would hope that the screenwriters, Joe Gangemi and Steven Katz, would create an interesting story to make us forget we’re just watching two people argue in an automobile. Unfortunately, that hope is lost when you realize this film doesn’t really build to anything substantial. The characters are stereotypical and unlikeable. The plot is seriously undeveloped. I mean, there were moments of out-of-body experiences and time travel that had me wondering what the hell was going on. And it wasn’t really explained either. And the film could have been more exciting. This is a ghost story. DO SOMETHING WITH THEM!! All they did was stand or walk around. I just kept wondering when the good stuff was gonna show up.
I will say that, like with DEAD SILENCE, I liked the direction by Gregory Jacobs. While it wasn’t an exciting film visually, it was beautifully shot and paced quite well. It wasn’t that modern MTV music video style we’re used to seeing in horror now. It was more adult and subtle and I appreciated it. I would like to see Jacobs direct a better film, especially one with a script. And the acting was excellent by both Emily Blunt and Ashton Holmes. I didn’t like their characters, due to the lack of script, but they’re both very talented and I kept watching them nonetheless. Hopefully they’ll also work on a better film that will use their talents in a much better fashion. And I liked the music by Clint Mansell. It was too good for this film.
THE FINAL HOWL - Again, wait for cable or possibly rent it. I definitely would NOT buy this dull film. If you’re expecting a gore fest, avoid. If you’re looking for something exciting, avoid. But if you like to watch a beautiful film that’s nicely acted, then check it out. Here’s an example of a film that had a great premise but did nothing with it. This was meant to be a short 15-minute film, not a full-length 90 minute one. WIND CHILL barely misses the WTF? Vault.