Despite the lackluster DVD box art, which makes it look like it could be just another ultra-low budget direct-to-dvd horror flick, WIND CHILL is quite the contrary. It is a well produced, masterful ghost story - and one of the best horror movies of 2007.
A college girl (Emily Blunt) decides to share a ride home for Christmas to Delaware with a nerdy guy who secretly has a crush on her. He posted up a 'share a ride' ad on the local bulletin board, which she answers. His car is old, dirty - and not a pleasant way to take a six-hour journey. The weather reports warn that it's going to get cold outside - and we know this bit of information will direly affect them later. The driver decides to take a 'short cut', a deserted road through the mountains (Catskills?) and they are run off the road by a mysterious driver. When they awaken from the crash they find that the car is stuck in a snow bank and the gas tank is leaking. They try calling for help but the cell phones won't work. The guy goes to walk back to a gas station several miles away, during which time the girl sees her first ghost. You see, this stretch of road is haunted by those killed - murdered - there. Actor Martin Donovan gives a creepy performance as the Highway Patrolman, who is pivotal to all this haunting.
Of course, the inclination is to think that these characters are already dead (How many times have you seen that 'twist'?) but the writers thankfully avoid that over-tried cliche'. The movie keeps you guessing, the actors keep you hooked to the screen as they are interesting characters and utterly believable in their situation. A lot happens here, though they are mostly trapped in their vehicle the duration of the movie.
This is far superior to the similarly themed PENNY DREADFUL released by Lion's Gate last year. It's also a shame this wasn't released theatrically.
Executive Produced by George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh.