Wind Chill (film)
Promotional poster for the film
|Directed by||Gregory Jacobs|
|Produced by||Graham Broadbent|
|Written by||Joe Gangemi|
Steven A. Katz
|Music by||Clint Mansell|
|Edited by||Lee Percy|
|Distributed by||TriStar Pictures (US)|
Sony Pictures Releasing (UK & IRL)
Wind Chill is a 2007 US-British horror film starring Emily Blunt and Ashton Holmes. The film was directed by Gregory Jacobs and was produced by the British Blueprint Pictures company, and George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh's joint company Section Eight Productions supported the project financially. The filming began in the Vancouver area on February 1, 2006, and continued until March. The completed film opened in limited distribution in April 2007 in the US, was released in the United Kingdom and Ireland in August 2007, but went directly to DVD in most other markets.
A female student ("the girl") at a Pennsylvania university uses the campus ride share board to find a ride home to Wilmington, Delaware for Christmas. She joins a male student ("the guy"), who is driving home to Wilmington. His older car is in poor condition, with the trunk full of his possessions as he has been kicked out of his apartment. It soon becomes apparent that she is arrogant and anti-social. He seems to know quite a lot about her, stating that they have a class together, although she has never noticed him.
They stop at an isolated gas station, as the girl wants to use the bathroom. However, as the girl just applied her pedicure, the guy offers to piggyback her to the store. While in the restroom, the girl was locked in and hears the guy and the clerk talking about how they heard her banging the door. After the girl manage to unlock the restroom door, she angrily walks towards the guy and scolded him for not helping her. Both the guy and the clerk are left puzzled over the girl's rant. The girl simply dismisses their responses and proceeded to ask the guy to leave. Before they left, the girl hears the guy asking the clerk for directions, although he claimed to have driven the route many times. Setting off, he soon turns off the main highway down Route 606, a lonely snow-covered road through a wooded ravine which he claims is a short cut. She tells him to return to the main highway, but he refuses because in the earlier scenes, the girl while talking on the phone claimed she was bored driving on the highway hence the guy decided to drive through a scenic detour - the infamous route 606 where crosses, apparently roadside memorials, can be seen on either side of the road.
As night falls, headlights come towards them in the middle of the road. The oncoming driver does not slow down, causing the guy to swerve, half burying their car in a snow drift. The guy observes that the oncoming car, which did not stop, has left no tire tracks in the snow. While the guy walks back to the gas station, the girl sees a dark figure stagger past the car. She calls out, but it ignores her. The guy returns, saying the gas station is closed, but she does not think he has been gone long enough. Huddling in the car, the guy reveals that he had been watching her for some time. As he didn't have "a line or a game", so even though he just lives ten minutes away from campus, but when he saw a chance to get her alone for 6 uninterrupted hours after he saw her texting about the ride share in class, he took it. He saw the car ride as a romantic gesture, leading him to post the notice offering a ride to Wilmington.
In the car, they notice a number of black-clad figures walking past the car and call after them, but they do not stop. Their faces are white and dead-looking. The guy follows them up the slope into a ruined building where they disappear. He finds frozen corpses half buried in the snow inside and also a newspaper. Meanwhile, the girl sees the lone figure again and when she touches it, burning her hand, it turns round to reveal a bloated corpse.
They think help has arrived when a Pennsylvania Highway Patrol cop knocks on their window. He does not seem to understand their predicament, choosing instead to believe they were "parking". He takes the girl to the back of his patrol car, which is clearly not a modern vehicle. When he violently pushes her into the car, the guy hits the cop with a tire iron. They jerk awake, thinking it was all a dream, to find that the guy has the tire iron frozen to his frostbitten hands. The girl realizes that he was badly injured in the crash as she saw a bottle of pee with blood in the backseat. She proceeds to question the guy and he admits that he realized that himself en route to the gas station. He further admits he did not reach the gas station because he started spitting up blood. The newspaper from the ruined building is dated 23 December 1953, telling of an accident in which a young couple and a cop were killed when their cars crashed into a ravine on this road. Retired priests from a nearby home gave them the last rites. They realize that the cop is a ghost, the black-clad figures are the dead priests and the speeding car which caused them to swerve was driven by the ghostly cop.
The cop kept reappearing, always heralded by Brenda Lee's "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" on the car's radio. The girl drifts in and out of consciousness, becoming in her dreams the many other people the cop has killed. She proposed an idea to the guy to use his telephone, from his trunk of belongings, to call for help from the junction box on a nearby telephone pole. The guy seemed resistant as he is concern over her safety and they agreed on a warning system (the song appearing on the radio) and he shall honk the car signalizing her return. Before she left, he said "You know what I'll do different? ... Next time I will just walk up to you after class and say hi". She smiles and replied, "You should, definitely do that". They kissed a couple of time before he called out "Wait...." as the girl reassures him "I will be right back" and she left. She climbed up the telephone pole, connects the telephone and reaches 911, but is not sure they could hear her. Returning to the car, she finds that the guy has died. She cried out "You knew I was coming back" as she had him in her arms for the final time as a black figure is seen walking past the car. The girl then carried the guy out of the car and left him along side the road.
From afar the girl saw headlights approaching her. Thinking that it was the same car (i.e. driven by the ghostly cop) she hurriedly attempted to open the faulty car door but to no avail. Turns out a snow-plow driver came in response to the girl's reported incident (i.e. the 911 call went through). The girl heave a sigh of relief as the snow-plow driver puts the guy's body on the back and called her to get in the vehicle. While driving he tells the girl that, in the early 1950s, a corrupt cop murdered people on this stretch of road and their bodies were never found. In 1953 he ran a young couple off the road, but lost control and also died in the ravine. Frequently, around this time of year, more people die on this road. In 1961, the priests were found frozen to death in their beds.
The plowman sees headlights and believes more help has arrived. Instead, the ghostly cop runs them off the road, causing the plowman to swerve in order to avoid him. The girl knew what was going to happen as she prepares for it by buckling her seat belt. True enough the swerve caused the snow-plow truck to tumble. In spite of that, the truck is not stuck; but, despite the girl's pleas, the driver gets out to help the ghostly cop not knowing who he is dealing with. The girl follows him and the pair see the two burning cars from 1953 down the ravine. They see the priests walk down to the trapped cop, but instead of helping him they pull the microphone from his police radio, leaving him to burn to death. His burned body crawls out and touches the plowman, who instantly freezes to death. She ran towards the truck and tries to start the truck, but the ghostly cop reappears. The ghost of the guy appears and hits him with a tire iron, saving her.
As dawn breaks, she jerks awake and realized she was back in the car, with the guy's body next to her and there is no sign of the truck. She screamed in despair but moments later the guy's ghost appears and leads her up the hill as he said "I would have told you everything eventually... It will be okay, it will just be a sweet funny story we have" referencing back to the conversation they had while he confesses his intention for driving the girl back to Delaware. The guy led the girl through the ruined priests' home and to the gas station, where he disappears. The girl found herself back at the gas station.
Ending scene - fire trucks, ambulance, police cars and the girl were back at route 606. The coroners were loading the guy's body on the coroner van as the girl wrapped in a blanket watched from the ambulance. A paramedic was attending to her hand injuries. She took out her phone, looking at a picture of the guy she took earlier after he had gotten angry (because she complained over the phone about her boredom and the long journey ahead). Tears began forming in her eyes - screen turns black.
Note: Characters appearing in this film, other than Lois, are never named.
- Emily Blunt as Girl
- Ashton Holmes as Guy
- Martin Donovan as Highway Patrolman
- Chelan Simmons as Blonde Girl
- Ned Bellamy as Pickup Driver
The college scenes in the film were shot at the University of British Columbia near Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Outdoor scenes of the movie were shot near Peachland, British Columbia, in February and March 2006.
The DVD was released on May 5 in a 2-disc set. In the UK it was available with special holographic sleeve.