ByJohn Mountain, writer at
John Mountain

Early in Wind Chill a guy and a girl, both unnamed, are having a discussion about the difference between reincarnation and eternal recurrence. Reincarnation, according to the guy, is dying and being born into a new life and a new body; eternal recurrence is living the same life in the same body over and over again. Wind Chill is a bleak and slow horror film whose plotline fits in the latter category. The girl and the guy (they are never given names) serve as catalysts to the main body of the story about the spirits that are doomed to repeat the event of their deaths in an eternal loop.

The girl needs a ride home for the holidays to her parents’ home in Delaware from the college she attends in Pennsylvania. She accepts a ride-share offer from the guy, a fellow student. Along for the ride, we discover that she is somewhat arrogant and antisocial and that he may not be telling the truth about where he is from and how well he knows the girl. After they're run off the road and the guy is injured, they do their best to endure a strange night of freezing temperatures, shadowy figures and the ominous presence of Martin Donovan as a menacing highway patrolman whose appearance is heralded by a particular song on the radio. Caught in a supernatural loop they watch as the spirits of those killed on the stretch of highway 'relive' their deaths throughout the night. There's more to the story, but to tell it would put this review in the middle of Spoiler Lake and I hate swimming there.

For Emily Blunt Wind Chill has the earmarks of an early or first film. Most actresses star in horror films before they move on to bigger things. However, this is the second film for Blunt after the acclaimed The Devil Wears Prada in 2006. Wind Chill doesn't do much to display Blunt's acting chops; unless you count her character being annoying enough to want to bury in the snow and leave for dead early on in the ride with the guy. As for the guy, there's not much to be said for him. His character is supposed to be somewhat enigmatic but comes off as merely bland.

Wind Chill is executive produced by George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh. Maybe the two directors saw something in the story that they believed in it enough to support it. They'd be the only ones; Wind Chill is a slow lifeless husk of a movie that does nothing with the talent that it has. The final verdict on this film is that it will leave you feeling let down and cold, pun not intended.


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