An entertainment blog that pops culture right in the kisser.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

film | Dud of winter

In the frigid thriller WIND CHILL, two college kids driving home for the holidays take an ill-advised shortcut on a remote backroad, wind up stuck in a snowbank as night falls and temperatures plummet, and then realize they're not alone out there — you know, in the bad way. It's a boilerplate horror clothesline, but whatever Wind Chill lacks in novelty is initially offset by its promising pedigree: George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh produce, The Devil Wears Prada's fabulous Emily Blunt stars, and for the better part of a half-hour, she and Ashton Holmes (A History of Violence), as the unlucky (and unnamed — they're listed on the credits as "Girl" and "Guy") travelers, are real and relatable enough to juice a weary movie scenario with engrossing, what-could-possibly-go-wrong-next? dread. Unfortunately, what does go wrong next is the film, which turns into a supremely half-assed ghost story — our photogenic leads are spooked by the spirits of a murderous state trooper (The Opposite of Sex's Martin Donovan) and his frostbitten victims — when the implications that Holmes might have stalker-ish designs on Blunt were already goosebumping just fine, thanks. From here, director Gregory Jacobs (2004's Criminal) focuses on the ho-hum supernatural jolts — a disfigured phantom vomits a snake, a car radio plays old Christmas jingles as sinister musical portents — but they're so murky and nonsensical that a tertiary stock character, the helpful tow truck driver, is needed to drop into the movie's climax merely to provide a psuedo-explanation. It has something to do with Nietzsche's theory of Eternal Recurrence, which I think is the idea that watching a puzzling shocker like Wind Chill can seem like a infinite loop of the same doofy scare. C-


Post a Comment

<< Home