Sight and Sound - 11/01/2007
"Besides fine acting, WIND CHILL is distinguished by a couple of well staged suspense scenes; some good sudden shocks; and the evocation of a believable breakdown."
Ultimate DVD - 04/01/2008 3 stars out of 5 -- "[T]his creepy little movie has some very effective scares..."
WIND CHILL takes the conventions of the haunted house film and transplants them to a dangerous stretch of road where the unfortunate victims of prior events haunt those unwise enough to drive on it. Director Greg Jacobs's film is the tale of an unnamed young student (Emily Blunt) at a Northeastern College in need of a ride home to Delaware for Christmas break. Deciding to check the ride board, she finds a fellow student (Ashton Holmes, A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE) going her way, though an impending blizzard promises to make their ride treacherous. Very early into their journey, he opts for a scenic route, only to be run off the road by a reckless driver. Stuck in the snow, with no cell phone service, the two are forced to get to know each other under the worst circumstances as they learn of the area's frightening history and try to save themselves from perishing in the cold.
A sparkling addition to the realm of holiday-themed fright films, WIND CHILL sidesteps gratuitous gore and murderous Santas in favor of chilling images of ghostly figures in a snowy landscape. Creating ample suspense with a story that unfolds largely within a car, director Gregory Jacobs (CRIMINAL) keeps the abrupt jolts to a minimum, relying on mood and a compounding sense of dread. Writers Joseph Gangemi and Steven Katz give us two characters--realized through fine work by Blunt and Holmes--whom we learn to care for as we watch them endure a realistically horrific situation. Claustrophobic, understated, and painted with a snowy glow of cool blue, this is a classy, spooky safe haven from gratuitous gore and hastily made remakes and sequels. Though the name connotes discomfort, WIND CHILL is a more likely to be a breath of fresh air for discriminating genre fans.