The chills are mostly literal in supernatural scare-em-up Wind Chill, a choppy thriller that falls short of its psychological-meets-survival horror ambitions. The outlook is immediately frosty, as snarky college socialite Emily Blunt finds herself being driven home for Christmas by skittish nobody Ashton Holmes, whose intentions, we soon learn, border on "stalkerish". A great premise then hits the skids when a road accident leaves the uneasy couple stranded and freezing on a haunted stretch of highway.
Blunt and Holmes must overcome their differences in order to figure out the what and why of the ghosts, but the bigger mystery here is why this film doesn't work as well as it should. Blunt is wholly efficient as the ultra-dismissive college queen. Holmes' wannabe suitor does a great job of keeping you guessing as to his true intentions. The film's minimal setting is not lacking in style and atmosphere either - as the snowdrift-strewn stretch of road looks more hostile with each passing minute.
"PROMISING ELEMENTS NEVER QUITE BIND"
The problem is the film's insistence in piling on the perils. The secrets surrounding Holmes, combined with the assorted dangers of making it through the night are fairly effective. But the inclusion of frostbitten ghosties add on more than the movie can handle, and the temperature at which all these promising elements should bind together is never quite discovered. In the end, it is the supernatural aspect of this thriller that's likely to leave most people cold with indifference.
Wind Chill is out in the UK on 3rd August 2007.