Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Holiday Death: Wind Chill

Baby, it's cold outside!  Mind you, I love in sunny Florida, so that's pretty relative.  We get frost on our strawberries, while you get snow/sleet all over.  Either way, we can all find a time when we're freezing our balls off!  Speaking of freezing, it's not so much the wind that does it, but the wind chill itself.  Hey, that's also the name of the film I'm reviewing today!  I'm just full of coincidences today, huh?  This low-budget film was made Direct-to-DVD, but it does have something more going for it.  As an Independent Film, it has about six Producers.  The two to note: George Clooney and Steven Sodebergh.  Yeah, does anyone really think that they watched a single frame of this movie?  I thought not.  The film tells the tale of road travel, awkward conversation and ghosts.  They find their way in eventually, but you'll probably not guess how.  Get out your randomly-locking door for my review of...
The film begins with shots of a college campus, leading to a girl in class on her cell phone.  Ignoring your work to text your friend- a realistic portrayal of students for once!  She gives texting exposition by explaining that she is going to take the bus (plug for Greyhound!) to get home this Christmas.  Instead, her friend suggests that she seek a ride on the board at campus.  She does so, accepting a ride from an oddly-intense guy and his station wagon.  Yeah, he seems safe.  She goes anyway, leading to roughly ten minutes of awkward staring, bad dialog and shots of the road.  Wow, it's like a road trip...with complete strangers.  They stop in a gas station, where our heroine goes into the bathroom.  Some weird lights flash and noises sound, but nothing actually happens.  That's a good replacement for plot!  The guy goes off on a side road, claiming that it's a shortcut.  Eventually, he crashes into a snowdrift to avoid an oncoming car.  Please be dead, you two!
No, they're alive.  However, they're situation is not good.  They can't start the car, nor can they get it out of the snow.  Oh yeah, nobody is nearby to help either.  While the two sit awkwardly in the cold car, the truth comes out.  The guy is not from near where she lives.  Instead, he's an admirer from her class who spied on her texting, set up the sheet and waited.  Apparently, he's both a stalker and The Flash!  The man goes off for help, while the girl stays behind.  He returns quite quickly, but simply says that nobody was near.  This is apparently a key plot point, in case you care.  The radio pops out to a random station and song, leading to a cop arriving.  The guy turns out to be kind of evil, pulling a gun on our heroine.  Suddenly, weird effects flash on the screen and the scene didn't happen.  Huh?  They will sort of explain this later, so hold your horses.  Things continue to look bleak, as frostbite begins to set in.  On the plus side, our creepy hero finally gets to touch the girl, if only to keep him from losing his hand.  Win-win!
Basically, we learn that this stretch of road is haunted.  I'll give you a moment to stop laughing.  Now then, we see that a cop patrolled the road and abused his power, raping and killing people at his own whim.  Eventually, he had a car accident himself on the road, his car burned up and he died.  Now his ghost haunts the strip and attacks anyone nearby.  This leads to a silly scene where our heroine has to take a phone over to the telephone pole and hook it up.  It's silly because the drama is built around whether she can do that before the song starts up again on the radio.  That's real drama, people!  She calls for a lift into town, but the young guy is dead.  The trip back is stopped by the evil, ghost cop who witnesses his own death again and...time resets.  They set this whole plot event up, but it's too stupid to get into.  Our heroine makes her way back into town safely, but the guy is still dead.  Well, it's a happy ending for one of us- this movie is over!  The End.
This movie sucks!  The plot is stupid and padded to the brim with filler.  Do we need so much inane dialog between the two?  No!  This just makes them both unlikable and me bored as hell!  I have no issue with you setting up characters, but that's not what you did here.  The entire thing feels like it was put together on a dare.  I mean, just look at the elements of it.  Reincarnation, a haunted highway, a ghost cop and random ghosts.  This is a Funny or Die horror film!  I seriously can't believe that Clooney and Sodebergh let their names be attached to this.  Of course, they did make Ocean's Thirteen.  Quite frankly, I've wasted too much of my time on this Direct-to-DVD drivel.  There are some good moments here, but you have to endure a lot to see them.  My advice: don't bother.
Up next, a Christmas horror tale comes to us from another country.  It's by the director of Rec, so maybe there's hope yet!  Stay tuned...

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