I am sure there are some who will love the talky nature of "Wind Chill"; it makes it a different sort of horror movie to the norm but for me that didn't stop it from being dull. Now I have no issue with "Wind Chill" not being a gore movie or a traditional slasher movie but my trouble is that it just didn't generate the atmosphere to get me on the edge of my seat like a horror should. Actually that's a lie for about 5 minutes around the half way point it grabbed my attention but then soon lost it again by just repeating the same thing over and over again. It means that whilst "Wind Chill" is interesting for being a different sort of horror it doesn't make it entertaining.
In need of a ride back home to Delaware for Christmas, Girl (Emily Blunt - The Devil Wears Prada) spots a notice on the rides board offering a ride share and so contacts the Guy (Ashton Holmes). It's not the most enjoyable ride back as the Guy starts to creep the Girl out as she becomes aware that he knows more about her than she about him causing her to fear he is some sort of creepy stalker. But after a stop off at a service station they take a scenic short cut and end up being run off the road where things take a turn for the supernatural worse.
So in effect "Wind Chill" is two horror movies in one with the first half being all about the Girl being creeped out by the Guy who whilst at the same college at her she doesn't know but he knows her. It has that element of crazed stalker about it as over the journey the Girl realises that he has been watching her and even manufactured it so that he could offer a ride home to Delaware. The thing is that this side of the movie feels very ordinary as we watch the Girl becomes creeped out and fearing for her life.
But this first half is really a red herring because it leads up to the car crash on the quiet back road and the supernatural element. Now to start with this is good, you wonder what the heck is going on as they encounter strange people who pass their crashed car seemingly oblivious of them being there. And then we get a crazed violent cop who genuinely is quite terrifying but then after this 10 maybe 15 minutes of great atmosphere it goes wrong.
Now for me what goes wrong is that basically it gets repeated, I won't say why but basically things happen again and again and whilst the Girl and the Guy start to work out why it ends up being repetitive. It also becomes over the top as we watch the Girl try and do something which just wouldn't happen, yes it's a horror movie and people do unnatural things but this is over the top. And so whilst we have this repetitive horror we also get them trying to survive the night in the frozen conditions, trying to stay safe in the car. Unfortunately it lacks the atmosphere to maintain an interest and so becomes a slog as all you want is day to come out and someone to get out alive.
It is a shame because both Emily Blunt and Ashton Holmes do a nice job be it in the lead up to the crash as the Girl becomes aware of the Guy's stalkerish nature or when it comes to the screaming horror of the second part. And Martin Donovan does deliver scary as the sinister Highway Patrolman but because the atmosphere ends up missing they just end up as characters not people we connect with.
What this all boils down to is that I am sure there will be some who really enjoy "Wind Chill" because it is an old fashioned horror which on release bucked the trend by not being about gore. But for me whilst an interesting idea it ends up struggling to entertain because the atmosphere isn't right.